NICKY Henderson’s Long Run is likely to wear cheekpieces when he bids to regain his crown in the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup in March.
Owner Robert Waley-Cohen said the application of that type of headgear was “under serious consideration” for the eight-year-old, who was victorious in the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day for a second time.
The eight-year-old, trained at Henderson’s Lambourn yard, is a top-priced 7-1 third favourite to land the blue riband of jumps racing which he won in 2011.
Waley-Cohen reports Long Run to have taken his Christmas exertions well, but that it had not yet been decided whether he will have another run before the Gold Cup.
Last year he won the Betfair Denman Chase at Newbury on the road to Cheltenham and next month’s race is an obvious option.
“I think he’s come out of the race better than we expected and is in good order,” said Waley-Cohen.
“He was slightly less than 100 per cent last year. He has regained his mojo.
“We are thinking whether to run him before the Gold Cup and we haven’t decided yet - with this snow it’s hard to make any decisions.
“There’s the Denman Chase at Newbury. He won it last year and broke the track record.
“That has to be a possibility but I wouldn’t say he was certain to run in it.”