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History repeated itself at Perth on Monday after Hammersly Lake set up a potential return trip to America when landing the Sodexo Prestige Venues And Events Killiecrankie Handicap Chase for the second year in succession.
Running off a 10lb-higher mark than when carrying top weight to glory in the three-mile prize 12 months ago, the 10-year-old reversed roles with his last-time-out conqueror Imperial Presence, defeating the Philip Hobbs-trained runner by three and three-quarter lengths.
Last year’s Tingle Creek fourth Charbel, who was making his first start since falling behind Altior in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham in March, finished a further two lengths adrift in third.
Longsdon said of his 5-1 winner: “It was a real tough race. Charbel is a very good horse and Imperial Presence has been in good form.
“He won it off 10lb higher this year and I thought off 159 against those good horses it might be a little bit of a struggle.
“I’m over the moon. He has been running off all these top-weights and it was another fine effort. It was definitely worth the long journey up here.”
He added: “He might now go back to America again for the Grand National Hurdle at Far Hills in October, but we’ve got to sit down and have a discussion.
“He thrives off a very quick pace and my only worry going there is that they might not go quick enough.
“If he stays here he could go for something like the Old Roan at Aintree, but I need to have a look through the programme book.”
Elsewhere, Gordon Elliott and Richard Johnson teamed up for a short-priced double as Global Jackpot (30-100 favourite) and Carrie Des Champs (1-4 favourite) book-ended the card.
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