Sam Waley-Cohen was downbeat despite finishing a gallant third on 7-2 second-favourite Long Run in the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup yesterday.

The 30-year-old amateur rider made the running on the 2011 Gold Cup winner, owned by his father, Robert, who lives at Edgehill, near Banbury, before being passed by Bobs Worth and Sir Des Champs.

“He’s run his race, but I was a little disappointed in him as he didn’t seem to concentrate early on,” said Sam, a former pupil of the Dragon and St Edward’s Schools in Oxford.

“I think he was looking at the film car because I had to slap him down the neck and say ‘come on there is a fence’.

“When he was long he pinged them, but when he is in close, he doesn’t really help you.

“I thought the cheekpieces might help him concentrate a bit more, but I’m not sure they worked as well as we thought they could.

“He probably could have done with a bit of company.”

Robert Waley-Cohen thought his son had given Long Run a perfect ride and was very proud of both jockey and horse.

“It’s very hard to win here and I thought the horse ran really well,” he said.

“It’s very difficult to try and make all, but I thought Sam got the tactics spot-on.

“If he’d have gone too fast then we’d have set the race up for someone else and if we’d gone too slow then it wouldn’t have suited him at all.”