Owner hopes to see star staying chaser back to his best at Kempton
Last Updated: 23/12/12 4:51pm
Long Run chases home Kauto Star in last year's King George
Owner Robert Waley-Cohen hopes a tip-top Long Run can regain his crown in the William Hill King George VI Chase at Kempton.
Long Run did not please everyone when beaten by Silviniaco Conti in the Betfair Chase at Haydock last month, but Waley-Cohen felt there were valid reasons for that defeat.
"The race wasn't run to suit at Haydock and the ground was quite tricky for a horse that isn't used to running on that sort of heavy ground," he said.
"We were always worried there wouldn't be enough pace and it might turn into a sprint finish - he was always vulnerable to that - but we didn't want him to leave his season behind in that race.
"It's possible the Gold Cup he won as a six-year-old might have taken a hell of a lot out of him, it might be that Kauto Star was a hell of a good horse last year.
"He had two very hard races earlier last season and that came home to roost in the Gold Cup.
Trainer Nicky Henderson believes Long Run will improve for the Haydock outing adding: "Everything has gone right. Haydock went much better this year than it did last year, probably thanks to no Kauto Star to thump him.
"OK, we got beaten, but he ran well and was probably straighter and didn't get quite as hard a race. He improved dramatically from last year's Haydock race to the King George. We only got beaten less then two lengths by Kauto instead of eight."