Long Run will be a fitter and sleeker horse when he defends his King George VI crown at Kempton on St Stephens Day, that’s according to his trainer Nicky Henderson.
The reinging Cheltenham Gold Cup winner was beaten on his first start of the season when he was put to the sword by Kauto Star in the Betfair Chase at Haydock earlier this month.
Henderson now admits that the gelding was ‘not ready enough’ on the day but promises that racegoers will see a different Long Run at Christmas. “He was fit at Haydock but I think he’s a fellow who does get a bit rusty. We’re not making acres of excuses, though. Kauto beat us fair and square. Paul (Nicholls) had got him pretty ready for the day. We were pretty ready for the day as well but we weren’t ready enough.
“We’ll think about doing some serious work next week but now he has the run under his belt he won’t need an awful lot. We hope he is a real star and he has the King George and the Gold Cup to prove that.”