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Henderson Confident About Long Run but Fears Kauto Comeback
28/02/11

Nicky Henderson has revealed that he believes his new star chaser Long Run represents his best chance ever of landing the coveted Cheltenham Gold Cup, one of the few major races to elude the hugely popular Seven Barrows handler.

Long Run
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Long Run

Long Run’s stunning success last month in the rescheduled King George VI Chase at Kempton Park, took the ex-French gelding to a new level, his defeat of stable companion Riverside Theatre and living legend Kauto Star comprehensively announcing his arrival at the top of the chasing tree. Convinced though he is that Long Run has what it takes to win a Gold Cup, Henderson still reckons that Kauto Star could prove the biggest danger, readily accepting that the Paul Nicholls-trained racing idol was below his best at Kempton and would still pose a major challenge if indeed he is returned to peak condition and anyone looking to bet Cheltenham racing money should remember this.

Addressing the fears of those who suggest that Long Run is simply not as good a horse at Cheltenham as he is at Kempton, Henderson explained that last year, (when Long Run finished only third in the RSA Chase), he had noticed that the Robert Waley-Cohen-owned six-year-old had looked dull in his coat a week prior to the race, a tell-tale sign that he was past his peak for the season. So far this term there have been no such indications, and his trained is convinced that if he arrives at Cheltenham in tip-top shape Long Run will give a very good account of himself and has already attracted plenty of support in the Cheltenham 2011 betting predictions.

Defending champion Imperial Commander remains the ante-post 7/2 favourite to retain his title, with Long Run second best at odds of between 5/1 and 13/2. The 2008 winner Denman can still be backed at 7/1, whilst Kauto Star is on offer at 8/1.

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