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RACING: Sam seeks a sharper Long Run
10:00am Friday 15th March 2013 in Sport
Sam Waley-Cohen is hoping that first-time cheekpieces will help Long Run regain his Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup crown today.
The 30-year-old amateur rider powered the gelding owned by his father, Robert, who lives at Edgehill, near Banbury, to glory in chasing’s blue riband in 2011.
The combination could manage only third behind Synchronised 12 months ago.
But they have bounced back this term to win a second William Hill King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day.
Connections thought after the eight-year-old, trained by Nicky Henderson, pulled that prize out of the fire in the dying strides from Captain Chris that he may benefit from the application of cheekpieces.
Now he is set to wear them for the first time in public.
Sam, a former pupil of the Dragon and St Edward’s Schools in Oxford: said: “One of the things I felt in the King George is when he gets to the front he starts to prick his ears.
“Even the year he won the Gold Cup the plan was to come off the corner because he races to the front, but when he get to the front he doesn’t necessarily do too much, so I think the cheekpieces will help him focus.”
The rider added that Long Run was going into the race in great form.
“I think he is better than last year, and I think he is actually jumping better than last year,” he added.