In-form Charlie Longsdon Takes Aim at Huntingdon’s Season Opener
Charlie Longsdon’s three Huntingdon runners assessed
Charlie Longsdon tends to be a name to follow in the early part of the jumps season, and that statement rings true at present, with Longsdon enjoying a terrific run of form. The last seven runners to have left Charlie Longsdon’s Oxfordshire base have produced four winners – with those coming at odds of 12/1, 7/2, 11/4 and 10/3. He bids to continue this excellent run with a trio of horses at Huntingdon on Tuesday – for their season-opening card. Here at Racing Tips, we have assessed each horse’s chances of success, check out our thoughts below.
MIDNIGHT JEWEL – (Boxing Day On Sale Now Handicap Hurdle, 4:15pm)
Charlie Longsdon’s first runner at Huntingdon on Tuesday is MIDNIGHT JEWEL, who runs in the first division of the extended 2m3f handicap hurdle. This 5yo has really found his form in recent times, building on a deserved first career success at Market Rasen in August when going in at Fontwell last month.
The handicapper has raised Midnight Jewel 7lb for the more recent of those successes, which clearly demands more, but he must warrant strong respect in his current mood, and Tom Buckley – who he gets on particularly well with – maintains the partnership.
FREETHINKER – (Boxing Day On Sale Now Handicap Hurdle, 4:50pm)
The second division of the Boxing Day On Sale Now Handicap Hurdle sees Charlie Longsdon send out FREETHINKER, who is a half-brother to the yard’s formerly useful chaser Shantou Magic.
Freethinker has shown limited ability in his six-race career to date, being sent off no shorter than 150/1 in each of his four hurdles starts. He is certainly bred to make his mark in this sphere, however, and there is every chance that we could see an improved performance now that Freethinker is sent handicapping off a mark in the mid-80s.
The market should provide a good guide to how strong connections of Freethinker believe his chances are.
CHAMPAGNE NOIR – (Racing TV Handicap Hurdle, 5:20pm)
Charlie Longsdon’s CHAMPAGNE NOIR was a winner over fences here at Huntingdon last October. He is 0-7 since, but put up a much-improved performance when second on seasonal reappearance at Uttoxeter last month.
That Uttoxeter second was Champagne Noir’s first start after receiving wind surgery, which had clearly improved him, and top pilot Sam Twiston-Davies maintains the partnership this afternoon.
The handicapper has pushed Champagne Noir up 4lb for that Uttoxeter run, but that weights rise still leaves him a pound below his last winning mark, and the return to Huntingdon for the first time since his victory here also bodes well.