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By Simon Jackson, London24’s horse racing correspondent
Thursday, November 8, 2012
Horse Talk: Top horse-racing tips and the latest news
Jockey Sam Waley-Cohen has revealed that Long Run will follow the same path as last season, despite registering just a solitary victory from four starts.
The seven-year-old last time failed to replicate the sparking form of his 2010-11 campaign where he recorded back-to-back victories in the postponed King George VI Chase and the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
The Nicky Henderson trained gelding returned with an eight length second to Kauto Star in the Betfair Chase at Haydock, before finishing runner-up again to the recently retired superstar in the 2011 King George.
The brace of defeats was followed by a narrow victory in Newbury’s Grade 2 Betfair Denman Chase, before completing his season with a three length third to Synchronised in the Gold Cup.
“All being well, Long Run will follow a similar plan to last season as you are a bit limited with options at this level,” said Waley Cohen who has been aboard the son of Cadoudal in each of his ten starts since the gelding joined Henderson from France 2009.
“We are pleased with Long Run. He has developed into a big, strong racehorse which we are all very excited about. He seems to have had a good summer and looks great.
“I think you would have to say he didn’t achieve the heights last season that he achieved the year before. You always set your aspirations by what you have done in the past, but in many ways you can’t be disappointed about being beaten by arguably the greatest horse of all time.
“We were never out of the first three, having run in top-class company and although we did not get the results we wanted, you can’t be too disappointed either.
“It’s very hard to tell the difference in a horse from one year to another until you get to the sharp end of a race,” the jockey admitted.
“The results clearly stand for themselves in that he didn’t run to the same mark as he did the year before. But in terms of how Long Run felt through his races, I thought his jumping was significantly better than the year before and he was much more mature.
“All these things bode well for the coming season.”