Grand National 2016 Fact Files
Crabbie's Grand National

Long Run

Long Run, dual King George VI Chase hero and winner of the Gold Cup, has been retired after finishing fifth in a hunter chase at Carlisle on March 20.

Long Run
© Racehorse Photos
Long Run

The 11-year-old beat the great Paul Nicholls-trained pair of Denman and Kauto Star in the blue riband at Cheltenham five years ago for Nicky Henderson.

He went on to win a second King George VI Chase at Kempton the following year and was placed in the next two renewals of the Gold Cup, but he had not been seen in competitive action since failing to fire in the Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris at Auteuil in May 2014.

After being sent off the 1-2 favourite to see off six rivals in the ApolloBet Bet On Lotteries Open Hunters' Chase, Long Run made much of the running on his first start for 672 days, but weakened quickly in the straight and owner Robert Waley-Cohen immediately called time on his fantastic career.

He said: " I think he's telling us he's had enough, so we'll listen. He won't run again and will now do something he enjoys. Whether that's showing or eventing, we'll have to wait and see."

Waley-Cohen had taken over the training of Long Run since his unsuccessful journey to France - when he suffered various injuries on his way back to Britain - and had hoped to get him qualified for the Foxhunter Chase at Cheltenham.

Long Run
© racing-images.co.uk
Long Run

But after running out of time, he instead made the long trip north to Cumbria.

Sam Waley-Cohen sent his mount straight to the lead and while he jumped well for much of the three-mile journey, a couple of significant errors led to him coming under pressure. He was a spent force from the home turn as Ockey De Neulliac and Robbie asserted, with the latter eventually winning a thrilling battle.

"He's been a fantastic servant," Waley-Cohen added.

"He's given everyone so much pleasure and it's remarkable to think it's eight years since he won his first Grade One. He's the only horse to have won a Grade One hurdle at Auteuil as a three-year-old and a Grade One chase at Auteuil as a four-year-old.

"He won the Feltham at Kempton as a four-year-old, he won two King Georges and a Gold Cup.

"We've had the most enormous fun, but while he looked magnificent in the paddock today, he told us on the track he's ready to do something different."

Long Run looked sure to finish third after jumping the final fence, but was eased and stopped to a walk on the run-in, being passed by both Barachois Silver and Durban Gold, meaning he beat just one rival home.