More mature Long Run has Cheltenham Gold Cup in sights
Long Run will have to see off last season's top novices Sir Des Champs and Bobs Worth
Regaining his Cheltenham Gold Cup crown is the chief target for Long Run this season and the word from his yard suggests he is more than capable of doing so.
Long Run could only finish third in March as he attempted to defend his title, with a round of inadequate jumping largely hindering his quest, alongside a lack of closing speed.
However, owner Robert Waley-Cohen insists the seven-year-old has grown up over the summer, both physically and mentally.
This means that the current ante-post 8/1 on offer that Long Run wins the 2013 Cheltenham Gold Cup may be well worth taking.
Waley-Cohen said: “He was a boy but now he’s become a man. He’s matured and grown stronger and he’s in really good order.
“Our hopes and dreams are that he’ll come back to his form of early 2011.”
Having fallen in the Grand National and having to be sadly put down, there will be no Synchronised to defend his Cheltenham Gold Cup crown.
Therefore, it is last season’s novices that are expected to lay down the biggest threats to Long Run.
Bob’s Worth is another Nicky Henderson runner with big expectations for the season, while the unbeaten Sir Des Champs is another that is highly regarded, with both triumphant at the last Festival in March.
Sir Des Champs is the early favourite at 5/1 to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup, with Bobs Worth joining Long Run at 8/1.
How much Long Run has actually developed in the past few months should be more obvious after the Betfair Chase at Haydock, which is likely to be his seasonal starting point again.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.