The return of Ruby Walsh to the saddle may be one of the reasons as to why Kauto Star is just 6/1 in the Cheltenham Gold Cup betting to win the race for a third time.
With Walsh injured with a broken leg, Tony McCoy was on board the 11-year-old when he failed in his bid to win a fifth successive King George at Kempton in January, finishing in third spot, 19 lengths behind Long Run.
Owner Clive Smith is one person who believes that the return of regular jockey Walsh will improve Kauto Star’s performance as he bids to emulate his victories of 2007 and 2009.
Smith told At The Races: “We feel that it will be different with Ruby back and the two know each other so well we will have a much more favourable result.
“As good as Tony McCoy is, he has a different style of riding and I’m very pleased that Ruby is able to get back on Kauto again. I think he’s got a great chance.”
Despite Kauto Star’s unarguable class and speed in his prime, it seems that age has now firmly caught up with him.
Therefore, punters looking for a horse to back each-way at odds of around 5/1 would be far better off opting for Long Run than Kauto Star.
Long Run is 9/2 in the Cheltenham Gold Cup betting and even the returning Walsh is unlikely to be able to turn around 19 lengths with Long Run based on the result at Kempton.
It can be argued that Long Run has struggled up the Cheltenham hill in the past and is generally not suited to the undulations of the course in comparison to Kempton, but he is still a major player.
Long Run’s jumping was much improved at Kempton than in his previous races, while he is the only one of the leading players aged under ten and only one of the last 17 Cheltenham Gold Cup winners was aged in double figures.
A £20 stake on Long Run winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup would return £100. New customers can sign up here to take advantage of free bets totalling up to £60.