Cheltenham: Henderson can claim success in Long Run
Sam Waley-Cohen believes Long Run can be an even better horse in the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup than he was when running away with the King George VI Chase at Kempton.
Nicky Henderson's six-year-old dethroned four-time King George winner Kauto Star with a scintillating display at the Sunbury track, and the blue riband is his next port of call.
“He's done extremely well since the race and has even perked up and really sharpened himself,” said Waley-Cohen.
“It's just a case of keeping him calm and getting him to the races.
“I try to get down to Nicky's once a week and before the race I will try to get down there to school a couple of times and ride work a couple of times.
“It's about maintaining the relationship and trying to be there for the key pieces.
“People said he jumped brilliantly in the King George and he did, but he made some errors as well and there is a possibility that he'll get better than that.
“He ran a fantastic race, but he should come on for it and let's hope he can come out and show that form again.”
While excited about the prospect of landing the most prestigious prize in National Hunt racing, Waley-Cohen is respectful of previous Gold Cup kings Kauto Star and Denman.
“There are three previous winners in this year's Gold Cup and they'll all be there running big races. A race like that takes so much winning and you need so much luck on the day,” he said.
“You open the paper and look at the opposition and you just think it's a great honour to be among them.”
Jack Tyner yesterday became the third young jockey since 2006 to die following a fall in Ireland. He was 19 years old.
The close-knit racing and point-to-point communities, which are inexorably intertwined, were rocked by the news.