Longsdon hints at RSA for Kaempfer
Charlie Longsdon has warned that Our Kaempfer, ante-post favourite for the Ultima Business Solutions Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March, could instead have earned a tilt at one of the big novice chases with his latest return to form at Kempton.
Charlie Longsdon: Trains Our Kaempfer
The eight-year-old had made the frame in all three starts in novice chases earlier this season, before losing his rider early on at Wetherby on Boxing Day. But his Kempton victory, in which he toyed with some more experienced rivals before scoring by seven lengths, marked a step up on previous efforts over fences.
"It was almost two years since he'd won his last race, so it was about time he got his head in front again, but he'd been running against some good horses and it was great for him to finally get it right again," Longsdon told Sportinglife.com.
"The original plan had been the Rowland Meyrick, and we'd been hoping for a really big run there only for him to unseat at the third fence, but he did do it very nicely at Kempton.
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"We knew he was a good horse. He's always been a good horse and he'd run into some nice horses earlier in his career.
"I think we'll keep our options open for now, but we might look at something like the Reynoldstown and if he ran well there you'd have to look at the RSA or the four-miler.
"At the same time, we'll have to look at handicaps too and the Ultima Business Solutions is an obvious race to consider, but he's gone up to 148 for winning last time which isn't far off the mark of last year's RSA winner.
"Last year we ran in the Pertemps Final. We hoped we would be well-handicapped off 140 and we were, but he was in second-last place at the top of the hill – which is the way you have to ride him – and passing 20-odd horses in four furlongs when they are careering downhill to try and win a race at Cheltenham Festival is a hard task for any horse. He was only beaten two and a half lengths, so he ran a good race then.
"You only get one season of being a novice, and you might just find there are only 12 runners in the RSA, for example, rather than 24 in the handicaps and this might just be his chance.
"I think he's got the talent. He was third to Thistlecrack in the three-mile novice at Aintree as a hurdler, so he's got Grade One form and I don't think there's going to be Thistlecrack up against him again in the RSA if that's the route we do decide to take – I certainly hope not anyway!"
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