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Waley-Cohen Ready for a Win
23/11/12

Amateur jockey Sam Waley-Cohen has admitted that some of the criticism he received when Long Run only managed one win in four runs did hurt him, but that he is ready for a win in Saturday’s Betfair Chase at Haydock.

Sam Waley-Cohen
and Long Run
© Caroline Norris

Long Run

After winning the King George VI and Cheltenham Gold Cup in the 2010-11 campaign, it looked as though everything was going perfectly for Waley-Cohen. However after a poor term in 2011-12, he has seen the other side of racing and knows he needs a win this weekend.

Long Run is one of the favourites for the Betfair Chase on Saturday, but knows his representatives know what a strong field it is and it will take a big performance to come out on top.

Waley-Cohen said that last season was extremely tough, but that he and Long Run are now in good spirits and ready to go again.

“If season after season was like last one you wouldn’t want many more. At the end of the day, you are doing it for fun when you are not professional.” He said.

Waley-Cohen added: “It was about having a thick skin, separating the noise from the truth and listening to those people you respect. Deep in your own heart you know whether people are right or wrong.

“Of course, it is sometimes wounding to hear comments that are not positive. Last year taught me that. The thing about competing at the top level is that it is not just about physicality, it is about heart and mind. You don’t know if a horse will give you what he has got year after year. That is what was remarkable about Kauto Star.

There have been many calls for Waley-Cohen to be replaced by a professional, but his father, who owns Long Run is reluctant for that to happen.

Trainer Nicky Henderson seems confident that these two can form a winning partnership and if they are able emulate the success they had in 2010-11, then it should be a superb season for Long Run.

Despite being the favourite for the Betfair Chase, the sponsors have revealed that punters have not been backing him much over the week, which means many could be betting on some Classic Fruit Machine Games instead of backing the inconsistent gelding.

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