long run's connections keeping their options open
SAM WALEY-COHEN is looking for signals when he partners exciting Long Run in today's Kingmaker Novice Chase at Warwick, WRITES JA McGRATH.
He and his father, owner Robert Waley-Cohen, want to know whether the import should be aimed at Cheltenham's Arkle Trophy or RSA Chase next month.
"We're completely open-minded about which race he should be going for," said Sam. "This time, I'd like to see Long Run more settled and to jump with more assurance."
Long Run hacked up by 13 lengths over Kempton's three miles on his British debut. Nicky Henderson is eager to try him over two miles in decent company and the gelding is 6/1 for the RSA Chase and 10/1 for the Irish Independent Arkle Trophy.
Henderson's Binocular is having a thorough check-up in an attempt to discover why JP McManus' hurdler has lost his spark this season.
Connections are hoping to find out why last season's Champion Hurdle third disappointed in his first two starts this term and was not impressive in beating two inferior rivals at Sandown last weekend.
"We all went to bed at the end of last season thinking Binocular would win next year's Champion Hurdle," Henderson said.
" The thing that's really been missing this year is the slickness in his hurdling. He has changed his technique and there has to be a reason. There's nothing that we can see. He's sound and has had no problems all the way through, but something is affecting him."
According to the trainer, his RSA chase favourite Punchestowns will be entered for the Reynoldstown Novices' Chase at Ascot this day week, but is only a possibility for that contest.
Henderson had to settle for the runner-up spot with leading novice hurdler Quantitativeeasing at Kempton yesterday when the Evan Williams-trained Phidippides caused an upset. Ridden by Paul Moloney, Phidippides, sent off at 14/1, showed a great attitude to hold off the late challenge of the Tony McCoy-ridden Quantitativeeasing, who was eased to 12/1 (from 7) for the Neptune with Boylesports.
3.05 Harry Tricker (nap).
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4.15 Tito Bustillo.
4.45 Amroth Bay.