Long Run grabs Kempton glory
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.
The Paul Nicholls-trained champion was always in the front rank as Nacarat led the way, but he began to come under pressure as they turned into the straight and he looked well beaten when a bad blunder at the second-last put paid to any chance of a recovery.
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?"