WHILE a Long Run partnered by Barry Geraghty or AP McCoy rather than Sam Waley-Cohen might be better equipped to force Kauto Star out of his comfort zone, there is far more to the two-time holder's renewed dominance than the gentleman amateur rider's limitations in the saddle.
Long Run had to go to the pit of his reserves to collect last March, and whether he has the stomach to do so again is a moot point. Kauto Star certainly doesn't deserve to be 4/1 to his 5/2, and strikes as an each-way bet to nothing at that.
On reflection, the notion that Quel Esprit, still unbeaten in completed starts over the bigger obstacles, might well be a genuine Gold Cup prospect is not as fanciful as it first sounded.
Were he to sluice up in the Hennessy, the 33/1 currently available about him would look huge.