Paintball has eyes set on Vincent O’Brien County Hurdle run

Charlie Longsdon has his fingers firmly crossed Paintball will get the chance to run for a £75,000 bonus at Cheltenham.

The five-year-old put connections in line for the cash boost from Paddy Power for any horse winning the Imperial Cup and a race at the Festival when doing the business in the big handicap hurdle at Sandown on Saturday.

But even that success does not guarantee him a place in the Vincent O’Brien County Hurdle on Friday, the only race he is entered in at the four-day meeting. A 5lb penalty takes his weight up to 9st 12lb which his trainer described as “borderline” to make the cut.

“Now we have to go for the £75,000 bonus on offer. The question is now, will he get into the County Hurdle next Friday? He is 49th on the list, so he will be right on the border of getting in,” the Chipping Norton trainer told

“We will see how he is over the next few days (seems fine this morning and is out in the field with all his friends) before making any final decisions. If we are unlucky enough not to get in, we will wait for Aintree.”

The Paddy Power bonus comprises £50,000 to the winning owner, £15,000 to the trainer and £10,000 to the stable.