2014 Racing News

Long Run the class act in National Ante-post Market

There are undoubtedly plenty of opinions as to what might win the 2014 Crabbies Grand National at Aintree in April, but few racing fans would be able to deny that the classiest horse amongst the list of potential contenders for the great race is former Cheltenham Gold Cup winner, Long Run.

It’s hard to believe that Nicky Henderson’s high-class chaser will be just a nine-year-old when the 2014 running of ‘the world’s greatest steeplechase’ takes place, so long and significant has been his influence on the jumps scene over the last few years.

In a career entering its sixth season, the French-bred gelding has never finished out of the first three in 26 starts, winning 14 times. He is a tremendous horse who showed that despite plenty of battles he still had plenty of fire in his belly when battling back in the final half-furlong of the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day to beat the unfortunate Captain Chris by a neck in a race to remember.

In the early stages of his chasing career, Long Ruin had plenty of question marks over his jumping, but, of late, he has proved very reliable and looks capable of handling himself over the modified Aintree National fences. He stays very well, relaxes in his races, and handles most ground (except a quick surface), so if connections do give a green light to his bid it is unlikely to be the ground that will beat him.

Henderson’s star will undoubtedly have a big weight, but class horses can carry big weights, and his owner and jockey - father and son Robert and Sam Waley-Cohen - have always wanted to win the Grand National. At 33/1 with some online bookmakers, Long Run could appear very good value come the big day itself.

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