Long Run Grabs King George Glory
1 Long Run 9/2
Long Run put up a magnificent performance to win the William Hill King George VI Chase at Kempton as Kauto Star's attempt at an amazing fifth victory came up short.
Long Run (9-2) had taken command at that stage and he ran on strongly under amateur rider Sam Waley-Cohen to beat his Nicky Henderson-trained stable companion Riverside Theatre by 12 lengths, with the odds-on Kauto Star in third.
Waley-Cohen said: "He walked through the first, but the thing we wanted to do was to get him to jump. It was a change of tactics to just go big and bold, and a couple of times I wasn't sure if I would get to the other side. But we had to take the sword to the king.
"I had one eye on Kauto, but when we turned in I wondered where he was, as we were travelling so sweetly. Nacarat was still going well and I was listening for Kauto and I didn't think he was coming.
"I just wanted to get around the turn and then kick over the last three fences. It's just a special day. It's absolutely amazing. He's a phenomenal horse and I'm so pleased he's shown people what he is capable of.
"It's a massive honour to be on a horse like this. Kauto Star is a true champion and Tony McCoy is an idol for everyone in the weighing room - to be involved in a race like this is such a privilege. I'd like to thank everyone who has helped me."
Henderson added: "Sam has done brilliantly, he has worked very hard and thought about it. He got the horse into the rhythm we needed and gave him a beautiful ride."
With his son having done the steering, owner Robert Waley-Cohen was a proud father as he said: "What could be better than that? There is no bigger adrenalin rush in the world.
"That's the perfect riposte (to criticism of the jockey). He has justified my faith in him. It's absolutely fantastic, what could be better than winning a Grade One race?"
Thomas Cooper’s charge was not at his best when chasing home Gauvain on his reappearance at Cheltenham, but ought to be sharper on Saturday. The nine-year-old’s form is rock-solid overall; he travels well in his races and jumps fluently, attributes which will stand him in good stead in the King George. I cannot envisage him finishing out of the frame, so the 16-1 on offer with Stan James , a price also available on Betfair , should be lapped up.
Most interesting of the remainder is Planet Of Sound, who had the re-opposing Nacarat a place behind in fourth when third to Imperial Commander in the Betfair Chase at Haydock last time. He signed off last season by landing the Punchestown Guinness Gold Cup in Ireland, proving that he stays this sort of trip, and if he gets into a good rhythm jumping-wise he is another that could run into a place.
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