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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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No going concerns for Long RunHeadlines
Long Run

Owner Robert Waley-Cohen is unfazed by the prospect of testing conditions for Long Run's seasonal reappearance in the Betfair Chase on Saturday.

The Nicky Henderson-trained seven-year-old has his first start since finishing third in the Gold Cup at Cheltenham in March, but the ground at Haydock is likely to be demanding.

"The ground is what we've anticipated all week and I think we just have to press on and hope they all handle it," said Waley-Cohen.

"It's going to be fresh ground on Saturday and it's going to be the same for us all. It would be nice if they had a little bit of rain on Friday night, just to freshen things up a bit and stop it being too sticky."

Waley-Cohen believes Long Run is in better shape than he was for his Haydock comeback 12 months ago, when he finished second to Kauto Star.

He said: "I think Long Run is a bit more forward than he was going into the race last year and he is certainly more mature, physically and mentally. He is a Gold Cup winner and perhaps last season was a little disappointing, but there are a number of factors which contributed to that. He was a six-year-old and still growing and he came up against Kauto Star at his brilliant best in this race.

"He's running against good horses on Saturday and they don't just give Grade Ones away, but we're very much looking forward to it."

Long Run will again be partnered by the owner's son, Sam Waley-Cohen, who said: "There are some great horses in the race.

"Seeing the young horses coming through like Silviniaco Conti is also one of the great bits of racing - the old established stars being taken on by the young pretenders and seeing who's got what it takes.

"Competition at the top level is about heart and about mind. That transcends talent sometimes, and what we'll see on Saturday is the horses that have the heart and mind are the ones that also want to show they've got the talent."

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