Reigning Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Long Run has been installed as the 10-11 favourite for his seasonal debut this weekend when he tackles Kauto Star in the Betfair Chase at Haydock Park on Saturday afternoon.
The Nicky Henderson trained gelding, who is rated 14lbs clear of his nearest rival, capped a fantastic season last year when he defeated Kauto Star and Denman to land the Gold Cup in March and Betfair spokesman Barry Orr feels that the gelding represents great value at his current odds “The formbook suggests that Long Run should be nearer 1-2 than 10-11 on Saturday.
“But if he is vulnerable this season, it is likely to be first time out. And our market reflects that, and the fact that he meets some top class opposition and some improving, race-fit rivals such as Weird Al and Rubi Light, as well as Diamond Harry who is a formidable rival when fresh.”
Timeform, who have Long Run on a mark of 196 also feel that it will take an exceptional horse to lower his colours this season. Dan Barber of Timeform said ““Long Run has the Betfair Chase at his mercy on our figures. Anyone looking for a chink in his armour may point to his defeat at Cheltenham first time up last season, but anything close to a repetition of his subsequent King George or Cheltenham Gold Cup performances will almost certainly be good enough.
“In fact, it’s hard to see him getting beaten all season.”
To win the Betfair Chase – Betfair bet: 10-11 Long Run, 8-1 Diamond Harry, Kauto Star, Weird Al, 11-1 Time For Rupert, 16-1 Rubi Light, 43-1 Nacarat, 169-1 Pure Faith.