Nicky Henderson has highlighted that Long Run represents his best ever chance of winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup and that Kauto Star is likely to be the biggest obstacle between victory and defeat.
Long Run is currently the 5/1 second favourite in the Cheltenham Gold Cup betting and became one of the leading contenders for victory after winning the rescheduled King George last month.
In that race, the six-year-old spoiled Kauto Star’s attempt to make history by winning the Kempton showpiece for the fifth time in succession.
However, trainer Henderson still believes that Kauto Star and not Cheltenham Gold Cup betting favourite Imperial Commander represents the biggest challenge on March 18th.
He said: “If Kauto Star turns up like he was in the King George the year before, he is still the horse we’ve all got to beat.
“I’m not worried about Cheltenham. Long Run’s very young for a Gold Cup horse but there’s nothing else you can do and he stays.”
Despite having 37 Cheltenham Festival winners during his illustrious training career, which includes five successes in the Champion Hurdle, Henderson is still waiting for his first Cheltenham Gold Cup victory.
Although to be fair to him he has only ever run five horses in the race in 33 years, with his best result being Marlborough’s fourth-place finish in 2002.
Long Run has finished third on his previous two Cheltenham appearances, including at the Festival 12 months ago when chasing home Weapon’s Amnesty in the RSA Chase.
Imperial Commander is a worthy favourite in the Cheltenham Gold Cup betting at 7/2, given that he triumphed in the race last year, while Kauto Star and Denman are other former winners looking to repeat past successes.
Kauto Star is 7/1 in the Cheltenham betting to win the Gold Cup for the third time, with 2008 victor Denman priced at 6/1.
A £25 stake on Long Run winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup would return £125. New customers can sign up here for a free £25 bet.