Sport : Horse Racing

LONG RUN RUMOURS SCOTCHED

6th March 2012, 12:28pm

Long Run: All systems go for the Gold Cup

Long Run: All systems go for the Gold Cup

Owner Robert Waley-Cohen said he was "mystified" over rumours suggesting all is not well with his defending Betfred Gold Cup champion Long Run.

The Nicky Henderson-trained seven-year-old opened his account for the season in the Denman Chase at Newbury last month and has been ante-post favourite to retain his crown all season, despite losing twice to Kauto Star.

With doubts surrounding Kauto Star's participation, Long Run had hardened at the head of the market and had been even money with Ladbrokes.

However, a slight drift on the exchanges on Monday evening prompted Ladbrokes to suspend their betting and when they reopened the market on Tuesday Long Run had been pushed out to 6-4.

Waley-Cohen reported on Twitter, however, that Long Run had taken part in his usual routine on Tuesday morning.

"Mystified by Long Run poorly rumours. Worked as normal today. All systems go," he said.(reopens) Paul Nicholls has issued another upbeat bulletin on Kauto Star as he continues to recuperate from his schooling fall.

The Ditcheat handler is now planning to work the 12-year-old at Wincanton on Friday rather than put him through his paces at home on Saturday.

He also came through his strongest gallop since the accident this morning.

"We upped Kauto Star's work again today," said Nicholls in his Betfair column.

"He had his now regular morning physio and an hour on the walker - we should bring out an exercise video, as that routine is getting so much publicity - and then we gave him his most testing workout since his schooling fall.

"We gave him two strong canters up the hill alongside my Fred Winter hopeful Ulck Du Lin.

"And again I have to report that he came through it fine and I'm happy with him at the moment.

"What particularly pleased me was that, aside from looking great, he came back from the work and had a good roll in his box, always a good sign with him. He looks happy in himself and Clifford (Baker, head lad) is smiling.

"But I can reveal that we have had a change of plan over the so-called 'D Day' home gallop on Saturday.

"He will now gallop after racing at Wincanton on Friday instead.

"Why the change of plan?

"Well, he had a racecourse gallop before he won the Betfair Chase and I thought it a better idea to give him a spin, and a good workout, on the grass away from home. Ruby (Walsh) will ride and he will work with Mon Parrain.

"Everyone can make their own minds up as to how he looks and works.

"And if he does come through that OK, we will look to school him on Monday morning.

"But I must stress that it is one step at a time and it is important that people don't get carried away.

"We aren't, just yet.

"But we are heading in the right direction quickly, it seems."

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