Champion trainer Nicky Henderson has come armed for the 2014 Crabbies Grand national and up his sleeve is the 2011 Gold Cup Winner, Long Run, who seems primed to take his chances over the Grand national fences.
Second highest weighted for the 2014 renewal at 11-09, Long Run wouldn’t necessarily be the first horse you’d think of when it comes to the Grand National but nine years of age with an incredible career behind him, connections seem to think that he has as good a chance as any on April 5th.
With 22 chase starts resulting in 10 wins, five seconds and four third places, he is one of the most successful and accomplished horses entered this year and the figures speak for themselves.
If you include the one fourth and one fifth place which he has also added to his tally, it equates 86.36% return on an each-way bet to third place and a whopping 95.45% return on each-way bets up to fifth place, which most bookmakers now pay out to for the Grand National.
Admittedly, he’s never run in a field of 40 before so the sheer volume of runners is something he will have to overcome but he has never fallen or been pulled-up and only unseated once throughout his career and that was at Kempton in the King George VI Chase back in December.
He rides in the same colours as Oscar Time, a Grand National veteran who placed in both the 2011 and 2013 renewals and is usually ridden by Sam Waley-Cohen, the owners son. But don’t think it’s simply nepotism at play here.
Sam Waley-Cohen is a highly accomplished jockey who has had enviable successes thorough out his career has steered Long Run to Gold Cup glory as well as six other notable wins as well as numerous placings.
His last run out was at Kelso on February 13th where he won, although it was a small field of just 4 runners but it stretched his legs and solidified his claim to this year’s Grand National and based solely on his ability to run, jump and place he looks like a sterling each-way prospect especially at 25/1 ante-post.
Result: Unfortunately Long Run could not make it around the course for the 2014 Grand National and fell at Valentines on the first circuit with jockey Sam Waley-Cohen on board.