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  1. #1

    Long Run: Horse trained by Nicky Henderson


    7-y-o; bay gelding
    Breeding: Cadoudal (FR) - Libertina (FR)
    Trained by N J Henderson
    Form: 311-2213
    2011 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner and close third in 2012. Good runs in-between and raced off 182 all season. Now 178.

    Nicky Henderson October 2012

    He looks fantastic Ive never seen him better than this. The plan is to do a lot more jumping work with him because I feel he needs to be sharper on his toes a bit. Id like to find a relatively straightforward contest to start which might be the Betfair Chase then on to the King George and after that the Gold Cup.
    Last edited by mayo; 11-04-2012 at 08:15 PM.

  2. #2
    Robert Waley Cohen

    I believe Sam is the right man to ride Long Run and that won’t change."

    “You do not go into National Hunt racing for anything but for fun,” Waley-Cohen Snr said. “It adds massively to the pleasure and the entertainment of it all when you do it with other members of your family, especially when one of them is actually riding your horse.

    “Sam (Waley-Cohen) has had his critics, but he has won a Gold Cup, he has won a King George and he has won three Grade 1s.

    “He also holds the track record as the jockey in the Gold Cup, and the track record for over three miles at Newbury when he won the Denman Chase.

    “These are all facts.

    “I believe Sam is the right man to ride Long Run and that won’t change.

    “The way I see it, while I own the horse and Sam is able to ride it, he will continue to ride it.

    “People will just have to get used to it.”

    On Long Run

    “He looks well,” he said.

    “He’s had a good summer and seems to be nearing full fitness.

    “Nicky (Henderson) is very happy with the way he is at the minute so everything is going to plan.

    “Providing he is fit, we should go to the Betfair (Chase) and King George this year, then another race, and then the Gold Cup.

    “We haven’t quite decided on the race in between the Gold Cup and the King George, but it will either be the Denman Chase, which he won last year, or the Argento at Cheltenham.

    “It all depends on everything nearer the time.

    “It makes sense to give ourselves options.”

    He said: “Of course, our main priority is the Gold Cup, but we have also entered him into the Grand National as a back-up plan for now.

    “He will definitely not go for both races.

    “It would be very irritating to not have any horses in the race (National) at all.

    “We don’t want to be in a position like Nathaniel’s connections were earlier this year when their horse didn’t get to the Arc because he was off-colour for a week.”

    “We are hoping for a good season.”

  3. #3
    LONG RUN has done particularly well and is bang on track for the Betfair Chase at Haydock.

    Connections believe he may have had a minor issue during part of last season that has now been ironed out.

    Physically there remains few more imposing jumpers in training.

  4. #4
    In his last two races of the 2011/12 season Long Run won the top two chases in the UK, the King George and the Gold Cup; consequently, he was always likely to trade shorter than his overall profile deserved in his next few races.*This possible scenario came to fruition as he traded at odds of 6/5, evens, 4/7 and 7/4 for his four races last season and yet only managed to win one of those contests. He was comprehensively out jumped by Kauto Star in the first two before, perhaps, being a little fortunate to win the Denman (Aon) Chase in February from his more considerately handled stable companion Burton Port. On his final start he ran really well to finish a close third in what was, perhaps, at best an average Gold Cup.

    He has made a significant number of mistakes on each of his four visits to Cheltenham and has also struggled to jump with enough fluency off a fast pace over three miles on flat tracks like Haydock and Kempton. On the other hand, he is clearly a horse with a lot of ability as, despite having been campaigned in the best races, he has managed to finish in the first three in all ten chases he has contested since coming to race in Britain.

    Long Run starts the 2012/13 season off a mark of 178 and should, once again, prove to be one of the best staying chasers around. Nevertheless, despite what the ratings suggest, he is only on a par with at least two or three other rivals, therefore, if he does continue to start at artificially short prices he will remain a horse to mark down and tend away from rather than one to support. Furthermore, the fact that he will continue to be ridden by a good amateur jockey, as opposed to a top professional, should be taken into account when assessing his true place in the market.

    In the 2011 Betfair Chase he was very keen early on, made a few mistakes when the pace quickened and had to be chased along and given a reminder or two down the far side. He eventually finished two lengths clear of Weird Al on the day which he might have to improve upon to be a threat here; furthermore, Weird Al appears to be best when fresh which he will be here as opposed to last year when he came to Haydock on the back of a tough race at Wetherby just three weeks earlier. Long Run holds reasonable claims for the Betfair Chase; nevertheless, at the time of writing he is, once again, trading artificially short at odds of around 6/4, not least because he is yet to race over fences on ground softer than good to soft.

  5. #5
    Henderson said: "I'd like to think he's a good bit straighter this year than he was last year. He looks big and he looks fantastic.

    "Last year Paul (Nicholls) had Kauto 100% and I thought us being 90% would be enough, but it wasn't. He was probably a bit fresh last year and we got in a boxing match with Kauto, and Kauto punched his lights out.

    "It's a shame his first run is going to be in really testing ground, it's not going to tell us everything, but we're getting a run into him and then I have four weeks until the King George."

  6. #6
    Despite coming off second best to the Nicholls-Walsh team yet again, Long Run was not disgraced in finishing second and trainer Nicky Henderson was far from despondent.

    Speaking from Ascot, he said: "I haven't spoken to Robert or Sam (Waley-Cohen, owner and rider), but the boys seem very happy. We didn't want to get into a battle today.

    "He had a desperately hard race last year and he's finished off his race nicely today.

    "Hopefully it's onwards and upwards and the King George is where we'll go."

    The rider said: "He's run his race but we've been beaten fair and square. The ground was a bit soft for him but it was the same for all the others and we've got no excuses."

    Waley Cohen senior said: "It's always disappointing to be beaten when you're favourite and maybe the pace of the race was to blame.

    "His jumping was a bit sticky to begin with, but when the pace picked up so did his jumping.

    "He should come on for the run and will now head straight for the King George."

  7. #7
    The boys are happy ...

    We were pleased with the run. We thought it was a good introduction to the season and gives us a good platform to go to the King George on," said Waley-Cohen.

    "It's always disappointing not to win, but he's run up to a similar mark to his first runs of the season over the last couple of years.

    "He's got to improve from there, but in all his previous seasons he has and we hope he will again.

    "He ran a good race on Saturday and you always have to decide in one of those races whether that's the day to go to the bottom of the tank, and it wasn't.

    "We were keen to avoid a repeat of his hard race against Kauto Star last year. It was very much about doing what you can but not leaving your whole season at Haydock."

  8. #8
    Senior Member Statto's Avatar
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    Apr 2012
    another stat too easily overlooked

    And what of Long Run? He's now won just once in five starts since his Cheltenham Gold Cup success in 2011 and it could be that that race, where he defeated two of the greats of the game in Kauto and Denman, may just have taken the edge off him. There's a reason why Kauto Star is the only horse in history to regain the Gold Cup and Long Run will this season be the latest charged with that assignment against a particularly talented-looking bunch of second-season chasers.

    Sir Des Champs, Flemenstar, Bobs Worth, Al Ferof and of course Silviniaco Conti are all fresh, unscathed staying chasers with huge potential and their presence in the ante-post market for the Gold Cup are as much a reason for Robert Waley-Cohen's seven-year-old being available at 10/1 for the race, as is the owner's insistence on sticking with son Sam as his pilot.

    Having said all of that, Long Run's seasonal reappearance was satisfactory as far as being a stepping stone for other Grade 1 targets this season goes. Even if he's not as good as he was, it could be that he needs a severe test of stamina to show his best these days and with that in mind he's still very much a player in the King George and Gold Cup.

    On balance he deserves to be favourite for the former contest given that only Al Ferof of the aforementioned five is scheduled to turn up at Kempton. The likes of Cue Card and Sizing Europe are next in the market and they have it to prove at the trip so there could end up being a scenario where Long Run outstays the lot of them.

  9. #9
    Mordin suggests Henderson chasers dont last ...

    Runner up LONG RUN (42) ran a perfectly decent race. He made no more than his now normal series of jumping errors and came there to threaten the winner in the closing stages.

    I can see how you could argue that Long Run needed this outing and has a great chance of winning the King George again next time out. But I worry that the fact he has grown so much over the last two years has made him a bit slower, more one-paced and clumsy.

    In this regard it's worth noting that Long Run's trainer Nicky Henderson has a tremendous record with young, lightly raced chasers in top races. Since 1996 his chasers with eight or fewer previous starts over fences have won nine times out of 91 in Grade 1 chases. Those with more than eight previous chase runs have scored only three times out of 37.

    Two of those three wins were in the BMW Chase at the Punchestown Festival at a time when it was basically a bogus Grade 1 (neither winner ever won another Grade 1 or earned an official or Racing Post rating above 157). The third win was in the so-called 'replacement Gold Cup' run at Sandown during the foot and mouth epidemic of 2001. This was another bogus Grade 1 won by Henderson's Marlborough. The short head runner up was a 149 rated 12yo that lost all 23 pattern races he contested. The third had an official rating of only 145 and never won a pattern race in seven tries.

    Henderson has been training since 1978 and started out with a top class string. But in his entire career the only horse I can trace that he trained to win a Grade 1 chase after more than nine previous chase starts was Remittance Man who took the Mumm Melling Chase after ten previous chase starts. However Remittance Man only beat three rivals that day, the most fancied of which fell. The runner up was a horse that never won a race worth 5000 or more and Remittance Man earned a Racing Post rating of only 145 for his win.

    What the stats suggest is that when one of Henderson's top chasers has racked up more than eight or nine previous chase starts you should start looking for signs of deterioration. Long Run has now had fifteen previous starts over fences. He's lost all four times he's run in Grade 1 chases since he's had more than eight previous chase starts.

    In fact the only win Long Run has scored since his Gold Cup success twenty months ago came by half a length in a five runner Grade 2 where Raceform noted "there's a strong suspicion he'd have finished second had stablemate Burton Port been asked for more of an effort earlier."

    Long Run exhibited jumping problems all last season despite visiting re-schooling guru Yogi Bresner before the season started and again after the King George. His very best effort since his Gold Cup win was three lengths a mile below his lifetime best on my ratings. He's grown significantly over the last two years and I have a horrible suspicion this has reduced his ability to accelerate and jump fences effectively.

    With so many smart young novices from last season around Long Run has chosen a tough season to try and stage a comeback. He can obviously still run with the best three mile chasers. But he now seems to lack the change of gear and the jumping skills to actually beat them.

  10. #10
    “He is ahead of this time last year and ahead of where he was in the first year, so hope springs eternal,” Waley-Cohen said. “He is a magnificent looking horse and looks like an emperor surveying his people.”

    Long Run has never been out of the first three in 11 starts in Britain since being transferred from France in 2009. Since winning the Gold Cup from Denman in 2011, Long Run has yet to show a comparable level of form and Waley-Cohen believes his victory at Cheltenham left its mark.

    “I think the Gold Cup the hardest race on the whole racing calendar. It takes a lot out of them, and he wasn’t even a six-year-old from the day he was born when he won it.

    "He never runs well first time out and he had a hard race when taking on Kauto Star first time out (in last year’s Betfair Chase)

    "After Haydock, I said to Sam, ‘I’m happy, Nicky Henderson is happy, and so nobody else matters. We have complete confidence in you. You did everything you were supposed to do, so onwards and upwards’.”

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