Charlie Longsdon has options in front of him for Ballydine’s immediate future – and he knows it. 

Despite failing to record a win in three attempts so far this season, the memory of an impressive victory at Sandown in February lives fresh. 

The nine-year-old has impressed his trainer in his runs this year, although the Oxfordshire-based whisperer admitted that mistakes had been made. 

Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images Sport

Quoted by Sporting Life, Longsdon said: 

Ballydine ran a very good race in defeat and would have gone really close if he hadn’t made that mistake at the third-last,

What we’ll do now is look at races like the Midlands National at Uttoxeter and the Grand National Trial back at Haydock – all those types of races.

He’s rated 140 now – he was 5lb out of the handicap on Saturday, but he looked like he could potentially have won off that mark so there’s plenty to look forward to. He’s lightly raced, is still improving and firmer ground might help him.

The Eider is in the mix, but I’m looking at that for my novice Just Your Type who was going to win at Exeter on Sunday when he fell. He was only just starting to get going and is crying out for four miles. I know the favourite fell, but he’d have won very easily. We may as well have a pop at a good race with him now and if we win one, great, and if we don’t, we’ve a good novice for next year.