Charlie Longsdon’s Pendra was undoubtedly the star of the show at Lingfield yesterday and had no trouble landing prohibitive odds under champion jockey Tony McCoy.
Having just the seventh race of his life and the second over fences, the youngster continued his education with a near-faultless display over two miles.
The handicapper rated Pendra almost in a different league to the rest of his rivals and, after a slow leap at the first, he jumped accurately, with McCoy keen to give him as easy a time as possible in the lingfieldpark.co.uk Novices’ Chase.
Sent off at 1-6, the five-year-old came home to beat Marcus Antonius by a hard-held two and a half lengths.
“He was rated 20lb superior to the rest, so he should have won like that, but you are still happy to go and see them do it as they should,” said Longsdon. “It was all about getting him jumping today and, bar the first fence when they were going very slow, he looked pretty good to me. “He’s going to have to have a couple of runs in a higher grade now and I’ll have to discuss it with Frank Berry [owner JP McManus’ racing manager] and AP [McCoy]. I imagine it will be over two and a half miles somewhere, but there aren’t that many options.”
Another easy winner on the card was Fergal O’Brien’s Down Ace, who benefited from Timmy Murphy’s tender handling in the World Horse Welfare Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle.
Unbeaten in two bumpers and now two over hurdles for O’Brien, she will now step up in class but where that will be has still to be decided. “We’ll just take it step by step with her, as we have done so far, but she’ll have to go up in class,” said O’Brien after the 1-3 success.
“I thought Timmy was excellent on her, she won’t know she’s had a race. She’s four from four now, someone else might say it’s clever placement but she’s very good. We had her in a Listed race at Newbury this weekend but decided to get a bit more experience.
Meanwhile, Godolphin have purchased a majority share in Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby winner Trading Leather, who is to stay with trainer Jim Bolger. Sheikh Mohammed’s operation have also acquired unbeaten two-year-old Piping Rock, who will come under the care of Richard Hannon junior when he takes over the licence from this father, Richard, on 1 January.