Grand National 2016
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Long Run cut to 20/1 for Grand National after Kelso success

Long Run cut to 20/1 for Grand National after Kelso success

Former Gold Cup winner gets back to winning ways with comfortable success

Long Run was cut into 20/1 (from 25s) with Coral for the Crabbie’s Grand National after running out the comfortable winner of the Ivan Straker Memorial Chase at Kelso on the Febuary 13th

The 2011 Cheltenham Gold Cup and dual King George VI Chase winner hardly put a foot wrong in the hands of Sam Waley-Cohen, and after travelling strongly throughout took up the running three out from the pacesetting Knockara Beau before asserting on the run in to win by six lengths.

It was his first win since landing the King George in 2012, and trainer Nicky Henderson was delighted with the way he went about his business.

He said: “I was very happy with that. The idea was to settle him and ride a race on him, and Sam’s hardest job was keeping him with the other horse.”

Long Run still holds an entry in this year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup, for which he is 33/1 with Coral, and his trainer is keeping options open at this stage.

“He jumped well and we’ll see about Cheltenham. I wouldn’t rule it out but I wouldn’t say he’s going there,” said the champion trainer. “The National is his principal objective and if we think he’s best going there fresh then we’ll not run him again before.”

The nine-year-old is set to carry 11st 9lb in the Aintree spectacular on Saturday, April 5th, and is bidding to become the first Cheltenham Gold Cup winner to also land the race in 39 years.

Only one horse, the great Golden Miller in 1934, has won both races in the same season. But Long Run remains on course to emulate L’Escargot, who having won the Cheltenham feature in 1970 and 1971, triumphed in 1975.