Long Run to wear cheekpieces in Cheltenham Gold Cup
LONG Run is set to wear cheekpieces for the first time in public when he aims to regain his crown in the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup later this month.
The eight-year-old won the Festival feature in 2011 but endured a disappointing campaign last term, being beaten twice by Kauto Star before having to settle for third behind Synchronised in the Gold Cup
Trainer Nicky Henderson looks to have brought him back to top form this season, with Long Run landing a second King George title on Boxing Day.
However, connections are keen for Long Run to be fully focussed in the closing stages of the blue riband and decided to school him in the headgear as an experiment this morning.
After watching him school alongside with Queen Mother Champion Chase favourite Sprinter Sacre, owner Robert Waley-Cohen believes the application of cheekpieces on March 15 is likely.
He said: "Everything went fine, as well as we could have hoped.
"Barry Geraghty schooled Sprinter Sacre, Sam (Waley-Cohen, jockey) followed him on Long Run and everything looked good.
"We don't have to declare (the cheekpieces) until declaration time but, as it is now, I would say he will most probably wear them in the Gold Cup."