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HORSE RACING: Long Run waiting on Gold Cup warm-up
6:00am Saturday 12th January 2013 in Sport
OWNER Robert Waley-Cohen believes the weather will dictate if Long Run has another outing before the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup.
The Nicky Henderson-trained chaser regained his King George VI Chase crown in a dour battle with Captain Chris at Kempton on Boxing Day.
His next aim is to reclaim his Gold Cup title, but Waley-Cohen feels he will not run in the Denman Chase at Newbury in February if the ground is very soft.
Waley-Cohen told At The Races: “He’s come out of it (the King George) better than he did after the Haydock race and he’s in very good form.
“We have to decide if we are going to run before the Gold Cup or go straight there.
“A lot will depend on what the weather is like and what the ground is like.
“The possibility is the Denman Chase at Newbury, which is the race he won last year, but we may just skip all that and go straight to Cheltenham.”
Meanwhile, another Henderson star, Sprinter Sacre, is one of just 17 entries in the Sportingbet Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham on March 13.
The Lambourn giant was an easy winner of the Arkle last March and will attempt to follow in the footsteps of Sizing Europe who landed the two races in successive seasons.
Henderson has also entered last year’s winner Finian’s Rainbow, who has only been seen once this season when disappointing at Ascot, and the exciting Simonsig, who is currently a red-hot favourite for the Arkle.
Sizing Europe again has the option of reclaiming his crown but he has also been entered in the Gold Cup and the Ryanair Chase.
His trainer Henry De Bromhead said: “The Champion Chase is a race we are looking at for Sizing Europe.
“He has been entered in the Ryanair and the Gold Cup too and we just want to keep our options open at this stage.
“He seems in great form at the moment and we have been delighted with his performances this season. His win at Clonmel was very impressive.
“I’d imagine he will have one more race before The Festival and we are looking at the Tied Cottage Chase at Punchestown in early February.”
Last year’s Arkle runner-up Cue Card, the extremely talented Flemenstar, Sanctuaire, William’s Wishes and Rubi Light are also in the mix.