Following the doubts over Kauto Star's Gold Cup participation emerging last week, Long Run was the subject of talk last night and today he drifted in the betting, leaving his trainer puzzled.
Nicky Henderson today claimed “nothing has happened” to Long Run after Ladbrokes opted to take down betting on the Gold Cup last night as the reigning champion drifted on Betfair.
Henderson quipped: “Unless someone's been in there in the middle of the night and hit him with a hammer then I don't know why (he is drifting).”
So as the rumour mill looks to be wide of the mark about Long Run's wellbeing, Kauto Star is “heading in the right direction” according to his trainer Paul Nicholls and the clash of the two former Gold Cup winners looks to be getting back on course.
Meanwhile, trainer Tony Martin today confirmed that his stable star and first winner at Grade One level, Bog Warrior, will not be travelling to the Cotswolds next week.
The extremely talented eight-year-old has yet to be beaten when he has completed, but suffered an interrupted campaign when suffering injuries in a fall at Leopardstown over Christmas.
Bog Warrior bounced back at Naas last month with a facile success and he will return to that track this weekend instead of going to Cheltenham.
With Fairyhouse and Punchestown on the agenda and his owners Gigginstown House Stud having the likes of Sir Des Champs and First Lieutenant to call on in the novice races next week such as the RSA Chase and the Jewson, Bog Warrior looks set to stick to home soil this season.
Indeed, another Irish Grade One winning novice was also ruled out of the Festival today as Cash And Go now misses Tuesday's opening Supreme Novices' Hurdle.
Edward O'Grady's paddypower.com Future Champions Novice Hurdle winner was around about a 20/1 shot for next week but is also due to be campaigned in Ireland instead.
Yesterday Peddlers Cross, who was hotly fancied for the Racing Post Arkle before he ever jumped a fence, was confirmed an intended runner in the Jewson Chase instead.
The seven-year-old hasn't been seen since finishing 16 lengths off Sprinter Sacre at Kempton over Christmas and his trainer Donald McCain confirmed the target by tweeting; “We've made the decision to run Peddlers Cross in the Jewson next week at Cheltenham.”