Henderson confident in extending hot streak with Long Run

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Despite being the defending champion, Long Run will be viewed as the party pooper if he defeats Kauto Star in Friday’s Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup.

But with Henderson’s yard in red-hot form, confidence in the camp is high he can retain his crown.

“The score is 2-2 and this is the decider, so let’s hope it’s a great race,” said Henderson.

“He is seriously well and everything has gone great.

“We’re happy where we are and Paul Nicholls is happy where he is, and I’d have been genuinely sad if Kauto Star came there and wasn’t at his best.

“Kauto Star thumped us two times so we’ve got to get back and beat him.

“National Hunt racing wants this to happen.

“There are lots of great races in the week, but I hope this is the highlight.”

The Seven Barrows handler also has a second string in Burton Port, who chased home Long Run at Newbury recently.

Henderson added: “Long Run was giving 10b to Burton Port at Newbury and was idling on the run-in.

“We had been really happy with Burton Port going into Newbury and he was a good second after being off a long time.

“I didn’t want him to have a very hard race so we could get him to Cheltenham.”

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