Long Run looks to target Kempton before Grand National

Long Run could line up in the £100,000 Kempton Park Chase on February 22 as a stepping stone to the Crabbie's Grand National.

Owner Robert Waley-Cohen is said to be eyeing up a crack for the Aintree showpiece in April with his 2011 Cheltenham Gold Cup hero.

Long Run has been by all standards rather underwhelming so far this seasonand unseated his amateur rider, Waley-Cohen's son Sam, at the final fence when in fifth place and out of contention in the King George VI Chase at Kempton – a race he had a very good record in.

I have to say this year hasn't gone at all according to plan

Waley-Cohen Snr

The Nicky Henderson-trained horse has failed to match the form of that 2011 Gold Cup success in recent years and it is possible Long Run's connections may look down the handicap route. Waley-Cohen Snr is convinced his horse can return to his best form in Kempton despite a disappointing spell with sights on the Grand National subsequently.


"I have to say this year hasn't gone at all according to plan and he's not been in the prize money for any of his three runs," said Waley-Cohen.

"Had he not tired and made those two mistakes, he would probably have been third or fourth, or thereabouts in the King George, but that's not quite the same as last year when he won it after that great battle with Captain Chris.

"Maybe the handicapper has got it right and he's on the down grade and he should be marked down a lot. He hasn't had a massive number of races. He has had five years at the very top and there aren't many that go for more than that whatever age they start."

"I think the Grand National is the more obvious course to be going at the moment.”

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February 2018
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