• Horse Racing

Nine oppose Long Run in King George

ESPN staff
December 23, 2012
Long Run will bid to get back in the winning groove on Boxing Day © Getty Images

Long Run will face a maximum of nine rivals when he attempts to regain the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day.

The 2010 winner of the race was beaten by Kauto Star 12 months ago, but with the legendary chaser now retired - Nicky Henderson's charge is a firm favourite for the race.

Long Run will be joined in the race by stablemate Riverside Theatre, while Paul Nicholls will be represented by Kauto Stone, a half-brother to five-time King George winner Kauto Star.

David Pipe has two declared, Feltham Novices' Chase winner Grands Crus and Junior who connections paid £10,000 to supplement the horse this week.

Captain Chris represents Phillip Hobbs, while Gold Cup second The Giant Bolster and recent Haldon Gold Cup winner Cue Card have also been declared. Champion Court and For Non Stop complete the field.

Long Run was beaten for pace on his seasonal return by Silviniaco Conti and connections are toying with the idea of making the running to bring his stamina into play.

"We'll see where the pace is going to be," Henderson aid. "We discussed going on at Haydock because there wasn't an obvious pacemaker, but Ruby (Walsh) made his mind up and he was going to make it (on Silviniaco Conti). Ruby set the race up to suit himself.

"I think we were right to drop off him or we would have got into a slog. It depends how fast someone wants to go. We haven't discussed making the running yet. We certainly did before the Betfair and I've nothing against that horse lobbing along.

"He loves his work in front and he schools on his own. he'd do anything you like."

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