Jump racing returns to Newbury tomorrow

Newbury’s Jump season gets underway tomorrow (Thursday, November 3) with the bet365 Festival Preview Meeting.

In-form trainer Charlie Longsdon saddles two exciting prospects, starting with Snow Leopardess (Noel Fehily) in the feature £20,000 Whitley Stud Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (2.35pm, eight runners) over two miles.

Snow Leopardess makes the transition to hurdles on the back of a comfortable success in a Listed mares’ bumper at Gowran Park on September 30.

The four-year-old scored on her bumper debut at Doncaster in February and ended last season with fifth behind Kayf Grace in the G2 mares’ champion bumper at Aintree.

Longsdon said today: “Snow Leopardess has schooled well but will improve for the experience tomorrow. She is still green and I am not sure she will be streetwise enough against the likes of Dusky Legend.

“I think two miles is going to minimum for her and I can see us stepping up in trip in the future. Having said that, she has won two bumpers, including at Listed level, and although we don’t see her as quick mare, she must have a bit of speed to do that.”

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Snow Leopardess’ seven opponents are headed by second-season novice Dusky Legend (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson), who was runner-up to Limini in the G2 Trull House Stud Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, and recent Ffos Las scorer Copper Kay (Philip Hobbs/Richard Johnson).

Donald McCain saddles Same Circus (Will Kennedy), winner of a point-to-point in Ireland and a maiden hurdle at Hexham, while Toberdowney (Leighton Aspell) has her first start for Oliver Sherwood and The Million In Mind Partnership after landing a bumper at Perth for Stuart Crawford during the summer.

Talented hurdler Our Kaempfer (Charlie Longsdon/Noel Fehily) takes on Bigbadhjohn (Rebecca Curtis/Johnathan Moore) in the KKA-Highpoint Beginners’ Chase (3.10pm) over two miles and six furlongs.

Our Kaempfer was second to Rock The Kasbah on his chasing debut in a traditionally strong novices’ chase at Chepstow on October 8.

Longsdon said: “Our Kaempfer has been doing really well and, to be honest, I would have preferred three or four more runners tomorrow.

“Neither horse is going to learn a lot whether they win or lose. But that’s racing and we have got to go and make do with that.”

Potential improvers Peter The Mayo Man (Neil Mulholland/Noel Fehily) and Clayton (Gary Moore/Jamie Moore) clash in the feature handicap of the afternoon, the £14,000 KKA-Highpoint Handicap Hurdle (3.45pm) over two miles.

The action gets underway at 12.55pm and finishes at 4.15pm, with gates opening at 11am.

The day will also feature an appearance from legendary author Jilly Cooper, who will be signing copies of her new book Mount! and presenting the best turned out award and prizes for winning connections for the final race on the card.

Newbury’s highlight of the Jump season is the two-day bet365 Festival on Friday, November 25 and Saturday, November 26 with over £600,000 of prize money on offer. Friday 25 November now features the Grade 2 bet365 Long Distance Hurdle, one of the most important three mile races of the season, on a card worth £190,000. Saturday 26 November reaches its climax with the 60th running of prestigious The Hennessy Gold Cup worth £200,000.

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