Nicky Henderson’s young pretender, Long Run, proved too strong for Kauto Star in this afternoon’s King George at Kempton Park.
The winner was always racing handy, just behind front runner Nacarat, and the history chasing 11-y-o Kauto. The former was a late gamble from 7/1 into 9/2 to give his trainer a fifth win on the card. As Nacarat set a decent pace the rest of the field soon began to struggle and with less than a circuit to run, it was clear that the race was going to revolve around these three, and the staying on Riverside Theatre.
Kauto Star never jumped with his usual fluency this afternoon and after a number of minor errors he found himself in third place turning into the straight. With stamina doubts surrounding both Long Run and Nacarat, Tony McCoy soon got after the Clive Smith owned former Gold Cup winner, and on the run to the second last he began to make slight inroads into Long Run’s lead.
However, a bad mistake at that fence, where McCoy did very well to maintain the partnership, left Kauto Star with an impossible task. With Nacarat now found wanting for stamina, it was Riverside Theatre who was to prove the main threat to Long Run as he chased his stablemate all the way up the Kempton straight. Kauto Star had nothing left to give and it was sheer heart and guts that saw him challenge for second close home. Riverside Theatre held that position however, to give Nicky Henderson a 1-2 in the race.
Long Run was quoted at a best priced 7/1 for the Gold Cup after the race, while Kauto Star has been pushed out to 12/1.