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Last Updated: 13/02/10 5:43pm
Long Run - easy win.
Long Run took his prize-money earnings to approaching £700,000 when landing the totesport.com Kingmaker Novices' Chase at Warwick on Saturday - but left his connections in a quandary regarding his Cheltenham Festival target.
The eight-times Auteuil winner, who created such a favourable impression when scoring on his British debut at Kempton on Boxing Day, successfully dropped back to two miles to outclass Joe Jo Star and King Edmund.
Sent off the 4-7 favourite, he made a couple of novice mistakes under amateur Sam Waley-Cohen, but after a superb leap at the last he ran out an authoritative 12 lengths winner as he initiated a double for trainer Nicky Henderson.
Now the team behind him will have to decide whether he should run in the RSA Chase or the Arkle Trophy, with owner Robert Waley-Cohen indicating ground conditions will ultimately be the deciding factor.
Long Run is clearly right at home with cut in the ground and Waley-Cohen said: "He couldn't do more than win by a dozen lengths while dropping back a mile in distance.
"We'll have to have a debate about where we go next, but one thing Nicky was adamant about was that running over two miles would take less out of him than if we'd gone three miles for his trial.
"He has such a high cruising speed with plenty of toe and plenty of stamina as well. It's a bizarre situation to be in, but my suspicion is that we might leave him in both races at the declaration stage.
"There's a lot of homework to be done, but if it was good ground I imagine it would be the three-miler and should it be very testing, going two miles in the Arkle would be favoured."
Sam Waley-Cohen was happy with his mount and commented: "He did give me a scare at one but he was pulling double and has shown his true quality."
William Hill cut Long Run to 5-1 from 6-1 for the RSA Chase and to 8s from 12s for the Arkle.
Henderson was at Newbury, where he said: "Robert and I had a little chat. We're not going to say this or say that - I'm not trying to be unhelpful but we need to sit on the fence. If it went quick we could go one way and it if was soft we could go another way.
"He's a very, very talented horse. He was untidy a couple of times but he was good and they were really travelling.
"Obviously we have Punchestowns for one race (RSA) and Riverside Theatre for the other (Arkle), but we aren't going to go one way because of any particular horse."