A CHIPPING Norton based trainer could re-route his prize horse to Huntingdon if conditions at Haydock prove too testing.

Charlie Longsdon is keeping a keen eye on conditions at the Merseyside ground for Rare Edition, his Supreme Novices’ Hurdle contender.

The six-year-old has put himself in the picture for the Cheltenham Festival opener with some faultless displays this season, winning all three of his assignments with the minimum of fuss to back up a successful rules debut in a Southwell bumper last spring.

However, if the ground is not to Longsdon’s liking, it will be Huntingdon’s Urban Logistics Reit Sidney Banks Memorial Novices’ Hurdle where the son of Califet will put his Cheltenham aspirations to the test.

Cotswold Journal: Trainer Charlie Longsdon is excited to see Rare Edition in his next outing. Trainer Charlie Longsdon is excited to see Rare Edition in his next outing. (Image: Zac Goodwin/PA)

Charlie Longsdon said: “He is entered for the Rossington Main, but if it is this (heavy) ground I won’t go.

“I won’t go on heavy ground. He’s a big, weak baby – a classy baby – but he won’t go on heavy ground.

“If he doesn’t go to Haydock, he’ll go to the Sidney Banks at Huntingdon. I think that is the more likely target at this stage because we know what the ground is going to be like realistically. I know that is two-miles-three, but it’s a sharp two-three.

“I’m looking forward to where he goes next and I was amazed when I heard him described as the best two-miler we’ve got in this country. Yes there are probably half a dozen better ones in Ireland, but it’s fun for us to have a good horse.

“Everything matches up right, it’s there and clear to see. He deserves to be where he is and as people say, if he was trained by a Henderson or Nicholls, he would be half the price. We’re lucky to have him.”

If running at Huntingdon on February 9, Longsdon will get the chance to see his star novice in action up in distance – something the Chipping Norton-based handler has mentioned could suit in the past.

However, despite still holding the view that an extended trip would help Rare Edition’s jumping, the Sky Bet-backed Supreme remains the number one assignment for the Festival.

“I think he’ll want a step up in trip in time, but his two-mile figures at the moment you can’t ignore,” continued Longsdon.

“Over two and a half, I think it would help his jumping – at the moment he’s a bit careful and jumps a bit like it’s a fence.

“That is no bad thing for the long term and I don’t want to ruin that jumping either.

“So I do think two and a half might help him, but the Supreme would be our favoured option at this stage.”