Long Run may have been beaten by Kauto Star in the Betfair Chase, but lightning will not strike twice in the King George.
Nicky Henderson’s six-year-old looked set to dominate the jumps scene for years to come when following up on victory in the King George last year with a success in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
However, Long Run suffered a surprise blip when beaten at Haydock and some will think that Kauto Star can repeat his victory at Kempton.
But Long Run will almost certainly be much sharper in the King George, given that he was making his seasonal reappearance in the Betfair Chase.
He also lost on his first start last season in the Paddy Power Gold Cup before winning the King George, which suggests that he may need a race to shake off any rust amassed over the summer.
The one big criticism at Haydock was in Long Run’s jumping and despite some costly mistakes he was still only beaten by eight lengths.
His jumping will again be put under pressure in the King George and perhaps even more so as the field is potentially stronger than in the Betfair Chase, with Master Minded especially known for his jumping capabilities.
A lot of time was spent working on Long Run’s jumping over the summer and this should begin to pay dividends and he certainly has fewer concerns than his rivals.
There are doubts as to whether Kauto Star has two big performances in him now that he is an 11-year-old and it is believed that he was trained to be at his best at Haydock.
Meanwhile, the concerns over Master Minded, Captain Chris and Somersby all relate to their stamina as none of the trio have ever tackled 3m before.