Longsdon having to play the waiting game before return

Racing is back after the equine flu hold-up but not for every yard in the country.

By Steve Smith
Thursday, 14th February 2019, 11:55 am
Updated Monday, 18th February 2019, 9:20 am
Chipping Norton trainer Charlie Longsdon
Chipping Norton trainer Charlie Longsdon

Like many other yards, Chipping Norton trainer Charlie Longsdon is having to wait a few more days before he can resume racing.

The British Horseracing Authority announced a risk-managed return to racing this week. After consultation with its veterinary committee, and based on the latest tests conducted by the Animal Health Trust, the BHA confirmed that racing could resume, but only with strict controls in place.

The decision to return racing in a controlled manner was unanimously supported by the industry veterinary committee.

But there are still many yards which will have to wait a while longer because of flu vaccinations.

Longsdon said: “We won’t be racing until early next week. Like a lot of yards, we’re all waiting for the flu vaccinations to be sorted before everyone can get back racing fully.

“We can’t run this weekend because our vaccinations don’t fall within the required six-month period – but only by a week – which is frustrating.

“It’s just the way it has fallen but there are a lot of trainers in the same boat as us. We’ve just got to sit tight for a few days, it will be a gradual return to racing but that’s the way it is.”

The Hull Farm handler was at Aintree on Tuesday when the weights were announced for this year’s Randox Health Grand National. Longsdon has a couple of possible entries, Willie Boy and Ballydine.

He said: “Willie Boy will probably get into the race but not Ballydine, who may go for the Midlands National anyway. Willie Boy may run in the Ultima at Cheltenham or at Newbury the week before.”