Despite coming off second best to the Paul Nicholls-Ruby Walsh team yet again in the Betfair Chase at Haydock, Long Run was not disgraced in finishing second and trainer Nicky Henderson was far from despondent.
Long Run was second to Kauto Star in last year's renewal, and again filled the runner-up spot behind Silviniaco Conti this time.
Speaking from Ascot, he said: "I haven't spoken to Robert or Sam (Waley-Cohen, owner and rider), but the boys seem very happy. We didn't want to get into a battle today."
He added: "He had a desperately hard race last year and he's finished off his race nicely today. Hopefully it's onwards and upwards and the King George is where we'll go."
The rider said: "He's run his race but we've been beaten fair and square. The ground was a bit soft for him but it was the same for all the others and we've got no excuses."
Waley Cohen senior said: "It's always disappointing to be beaten when you're favourite and maybe the pace of the race was to blame. His jumping was a bit sticky to begin with, but when the pace picked up so did his jumping.
"He should come on for the run and will now head straight for the King George."
The Giant Bolster's trainer, David Bridgwater, said: "He's bound to come on for that and it was a good run. There's the King George and the Lexus at Leopardstown so we'll see what happens."
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