/ Racing

Versatile Long Run lands the Kingmaker

Updated: Saturday, 13 Feb 2010 16:58

Nick Henderson's talented youngster is still expected to run in the RSA Chase at the Festival
Nick Henderson's talented youngster is still expected to run in the RSA Chase at the Festival

Ground conditions at Cheltenham will have the biggest bearing on whether Long Run contests the Arkle or RSA Chase at the Festival following a bloodless success in the totesport.com Kingmaker Novices' Chase.

Nicky Henderson had opted to step back in trip to two miles from three with the five-year-old following an impressive triumph in the Feltham on his British bow.

Sent off the 4-7 favourite under Sam Waley-Cohen, his amateur rider had to sit tight as he reached for the ditch going away from the stands and again when he hit the sixth fence.

Overall his jumping was pretty assured and he put in an especially good leap at the last when already in total command to pull 12 lengths clear of Joe Jo Star.

Henderson had previously hinted the RSA was the preferred option, but owner Robert Waley-Cohen believes the ground will dictate the target.

He said: ‘There's a lot of homework to be done and the ground will be the key.

‘My inclination is to think we would leave him in both the Arkle and the RSA Chase and make our decision based on the going.

‘Obviously, if it came up testing we might be tempted to go two miles, but on good ground the preferred option would be to go three.

‘He has such a high cruising speed and plenty of toe as well as plenty of stamina.

‘He couldn't do more than win by a long way dropping back a mile in trip, and the horse that was third in the Irish Arkle (Take The Breeze) was beaten a long way into third today.

‘We'll have to have a debate over what to do next. Nicky was certain going two miles today would take much less out of him as far as his Festival prep was concerned.’

William Hill cut the winner to 5-1 from 6 for the RSA Chase and to 8 from 12 for the Arkle.

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