Grand National News
Crabbie's Grand National

Class May Tell in the Long Run
Tuesday 25th March 2014


In Long Run, Nicky Henderson has a class performer, more than capable of landing the trainer his first win in the Crabbie’s Grand National.

Long Run
© Racehorse Photos
Long Run

The Seven Barrows’ handler has won the Jump trainers' championships three times; in 1985/86, 1986/87 and 2012/2013, is the most successful handler in history at the Cheltenham Festival, but has yet to win the big one at Aintree.

Henderson has saddled 33 Grand National runners since 1979, and has had three horses make the frame. Zongalero finished second in 1979, Classified came third in 1986 and The Tsarevich came runner-up to Maori Venture in 1987.

That trio were all good horses in their own right but had nowhere near the class of Long Run.

The six-time Grade One winner in France and Britain, peaked with victory in the 2011 Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup, when he defeated Denman and Kauto Star. He has also won the King George VI Chase at Kempton Park twice, in January, 2011, and December, 2012.

The nine-year-old now bids to become the third horse to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup and the Crabbie's Grand National following Golden Miller (who won both in 1934) and L'Escargot (Gold Cup in 1970 & 1971, Grand National 1975).

He finished out of the first three for the first time of his career in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby in November and also failed to sparkle in the Betfair Chase at Haydock Park on November 23 and the King George VI Chase on December 26.

Successful on his most recent outing at Kelso on February 13, he comfortably beat Knockara Beau by six lengths in a three and a quarter mile conditions chase.

This year he bypassed the Cheltenham Festival (after running at the meeting for the previous four years) to go for the Crabbie's Grand National.

If his regular rider Sam Waley-Cohen can get him into a nice rhythm early, and safely round the first curcuit, then he would have major claims of going one better than Oscar Time who finished runner-up to Ballabriggs in 2011 under the top class amateur jockey.

Long Run is currently 20/1 with Coral for the big race on Saturday, April 5th.