If every horse ran to their best in the Betfair Chase, Long Run should win fairly comfortably given that he has 10lb on the field on official ratings.
This will make him appeal to some punters at 5/4 at Haydock, especially as the stream of rain in recent days has depleted the field to six runners.
Long Run has been sent to work with renowned horseman Yogi Breisner in a bid to improve his jumping and trainer Nicky Henderson is pleased with the horse’s preparations.
What is worth remembering is that he has never finished out of the first three since coming over from France and it is fairly common for a horse to go off the boil in the season after winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup, only then to rediscover their best in the following campaign.
However, Long Run is definitely most beatable at the start of a new season, losing on his reappearance in his last two campaigns.
This is good news for Silviniaco Conti, who ran as if he was ready to step into Grade One company with the big boys when running away with the Charlie Hall Chase earlier this month.
Paul Nicholls’ runners have been in top form in the big races with Zarkandar and Al Ferof others to have already claimed useful prizes and Silviniaco Conti can continue this run.
The big doubts are how well he will handle Haydock and whether he will truly stay 3m on soft ground.
But the course is fairly flat and Silviniaco Conti is a previous winner over 3m1f.
He can be backed at 2/1 and looks more open to improvement than any other horse in the field.
The Giant Bolster is 11/2, but his second was in a weak-looking Cheltenham Gold Cup and this run may have overestimated his chances.
Therefore, Weird Al is the each-way value at 6/1 given that he is best when fresh and is four from four in his career on ground classified as soft.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date