Author: Alan Kelly
Published: 10:55 28/11/2014
Pendra will get a tilt at a big Christmas handicap if all goes well in the bet365 Open Handicap Chase at 2.40 Newbury today.
Trainer Charlie Longsdon believes the six-year-old gelding could win the 2m 4f race at the Berkshire track before having a tilt at a valuable prize at Leopardstown’s Christmas Festival. While today’s trip may be a little shorter than ideal, Pendra looks to be on a good mark and can give veteran jockey Tony McCoy another winner at decent odds of 7/2 with Ladbrokes.
Longsdon told Sportinglife.com, “He's back in good form now. In truth he probably wants three miles now, but this seemed a nice place to start and there's good money on offer.
"After this he'll probably go to Ireland at Christmas for a big handicap, the Paddy Power. This should be a nice stepping stone towards that but he could be good enough to win."
Pendra is owned by JP McManus who is also represented by Paul Webber-trained Cantlow and it is another positive that he is McCoy’s preference given the choice of both rides.
Longsdon’s charge was unlucky not land a a big race at Cheltenham Festival in March, he was coming to challenge the leaders when hitting the last in the Rewards4Racing Novices Handicap Chase and the blunder stopped him dead in his tracks. Pendra’s last race was the Irish Grand National where he finished 10th behind another of his owner’s horses, Shutthefrontdoor.
The son of Old Vic has a good winning record with two hurdle victories from four and has won two of his five outings over larger obstacles and looks well handicapped to make it three at Newbury this afternoon.