CHARLIE Longsdon admitted there is a buzz around his stables as the new National Hunt season prepares to go up a gear, writes Mark Edwards.

More than 500 people visited his Chipping Norton yard as the handler hosted an open day on Saturday, where some exciting new recruits were seen for the first time.

Longsdon, whose list of owners includes The Queen and JP McManus, schooled eight horses over jumps on his all-weather gallop, before parading 60 in front of the huge crowd.

“You’re always excited when a new season comes around,” he said.

“There’s always a lot of bubbles to be burst.

“We’ve got a lot of new horses and that’s both exciting and very important, just moving on and freshening things up.”

Longsdon has reached the 50-winner mark in each of the last six years, and although his overall tally was down last year on the previous 12 months, his prize money total was considerably higher.

“Numerically, I was slightly disappointed last season, but we won £150,000 more than we had ever won before so it’s a double-edged sword,” he said.

“So we’ll be looking to maintain that prize money and get a few more winners.”

He added: “We’ll be looking to compete in the big races throughout the season.

“We have got plenty of youngsters for that, there’s not a mass of older horses, but I’d like to hope the young ones are capable of being there at the big meetings.”

While particularly bullish about the prospects of Jet Set and Monty’s Award, Longsdon will be hoping some of his established stars continue to hit the heights.

Snow Leopardess was an impressive winner of the Novice Mares’ Hurdle final at Newbury and a trip to the Cheltenham Festival will be firmly in her sights.

A tilt at the Grand National is possible for eight-year-old Coologue, while stalwarts such as Loose Chips, Our Kaempfer, Pendra, Pete The Feat and Kilfinichen Bay will also be sure to pick up their fair share of prize money.

Longsdon has installed a water treadmill over the summer, something he hopes can further help him hit new heights.

“It’s exciting times, and we’re all really looking forward to what will hopefully be another successful season,” he said.