Kilfinichen Bay faces tough test to extend excellent run

Charlie Longsdon has several entries at Cheltenham
Charlie Longsdon has several entries at Cheltenham

Racing returns to Cheltenham tomorrow (Friday) and Chipping Norton trainer Charlie Longsdon has plenty of options for the two-day Showcase meeting.

The two-day meeting has been a springboard for future stars in recent years, with Chicago Grey, Balthazar King, The New One, Lac Fontana and Moon Racer winning at The Showcase before returning to triumph at The Festival five months later.

Longsdon could be represented by Kilfinichen Bay, victorious on eight of his nine most recent starts, in Friday’s £20,000 Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle, which has attracted 24 entries.

Kilfinichen Bay has won eight times from 19 starts but faces a tough task to add to that tally on Friday, having had a massive weights rise.

Richard Johnson is set to partner the seven-year-old and the Hull Farm handler said: “Kilfinichen Bay has been a superstar for us but that’s the highest we’ve ever had a horse put up by the handicapper.”

Zarawi goes in the Harrison James & Hardie Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle on the same day.

On Saturday, Azure Fly runs in the Trophy Handicap Chase.

The seven-year-old won at Ludlow earlier this month and Longsdon said: “He had a great win at Ludlow last time out but he’s running off a career high mark now.”

Atlantic Gold is set to run in the Bet And Watch At Novices Hurdle and Vivas goes in the Cheltenham Club Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race.

On Sunday, Ely Brown returns to Aintree where he will line up in the Simon And Louise’s Silver Anniversary Veterans Handicap Chase, part of The Veterans Chase Series.