Student’s family racehorse good enough for Cheltenham

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By James Yellen: A racehorse part-owned by a Staffordshire University student’s mother could be running at next year’’s Cheltenham Festival.

Everyl Madell, whose son Calum studies Sports Journalism at Staffs, has a stake in Magnifique Etoile, trained by Charlie Longsdon.

The family have owned racehorses in the past, including Gallileo Figaro, who recently sold for $210,000 but was bought off of Calum’s syndicate in 2008.

The mare had four victories under their ownership, including a prestigious handicap win at York.

However, Calum thinks Magnifique Etoile is the best horse his family have owned.

He said: “Magnifique (Etoile) is just such a fantastic horse. Gallileo Figaro was a horse we had fun with, but we had to sell him on. Magnifique is one we will hopefully keep for a long time.

“He has got so much talent and Charlie (Longsdon) knows just how to prepare him to his peak.

“He is still only four-years-old which indicates he has got the whole of his career ahead of him.

“I would love it if he could eventually go to the Cheltenham Festival. The syndicate knows we have potentially a great horse.

“He has got an exciting future.”

The four-year-old registered a 22-length victory on his seasonal debut at Market Rasen, before an equally promising win at Stratford in November.

Longsdon believes the horse, which has impressed this season over hurdles, has the ability to compete on the elite stage.

Said Longsdon: “There is a long way to go, but I’m very confident he will make it to the Cheltenham Festival, either this year or next.

“He is an exciting prospect for the future. He ran very well in his two starts this season and will move up in class.

“It is important that we take our time with him.”

Magnifique Etoile has been entered to race at either Folkestone or Bangor-on-Dee next week, although has not run for over a month due to illness.

Added Longsdon: “He was meant to run at Uttoxeter a month ago, but was sick so we pulled him out.

“He has been doing very well since. His jumping has improved since his last run and he’s making great progress.

“He is back and ready to go.”

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