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YOU BET: Long day in prospect at Haydock
CHELTENHAM Gold Cup winner Long Run is scheduled to make his makes his seasonal appearance at Haydock this weekend in the Grade One Betfair Chase.
Trainer Nicky Henderson could not be happier with his charge and is confident that the six year old can begin his new season with a strong showing.
Sure to start at a very short price, there are nevertheless plenty of others in the race that could take advantage should the Gold Cup winner not be fully tuned up.
The Paul Nicholls-trained Kauto Star is said to be fitter than ever been at this stage of the season and it will determine whether the 11 year old can still be a force at the top of the staying chasers.
Nicholls said: “Kauto has been fine. He worked well with Big Bucks and Mon Parrain and the horses are going great so it all bodes well.
“It’s a very valuable race and we are going to try to win it.”
Opposition is also likely to include Diamond Harry, Time For Rupert and Weird Al – all three no slouches over the distance.
It should be a cracking race for Channel Four viewers and just perhaps, Kauto Star could give his younger rivals a jumping lesson.
The Grade Three Fixed Brush Handicap Hurdle could take a lot of sorting.
Lambourn trainer Nicky Henderson has a good chance with Sentry Duty while Nicholls’ Robinson Collonges could also go well.
However a small each way interest on Kayf Aramis from the Cotswold yard of Nigel Twiston-Davies could prove profitable At Ascot, all eyes will be on the Nicholls-trained Master Minded, bidding to restore his reputation in the Grade Two Amlin 1965 Chase over two miles three furlongs.
Winner of the race last year, the eight year old could only finish third in the Old Roan Chase at Aintree last month but is fit and well.
Local interest surrounds the recent Haldon Gold Cup winner Medermit, who Barbury Castle trainer Alan King pencilled in for the race after his Exeter victory.
Also among the entries is the Philip Hobbs-trained Captain Chris, who looked to have the Exeter feature at his mercy before falling, Somersby, trained at Wantage by Henrietta Knight and northern raider Kalahari King, but Master Minded remains the pick.
The Grade Two Coral Hurdle has attracted Henderson’s ante post favourite Oscar Whisky, who finished third in the Champion Hurdle, the King-trained Katchit, Sentry Duty and the Nicholls-trained Celestial Halo, an impressive winner of the Elite Hurdle at Wincanton last month.
Other meetings are at Huntingdon with all-weather flat meetings at Lingfield and Wolverhampton.
At Huntingdon it could pay to have an interest on the Charlie Longsdon trained Getmeoutthedoldrums, the mount of Felix de Giles.
The feature race on the all weather card at Lingfield is the Lingfield Park Owners Club Conditions Stakes could be won by the John Gosdentrained Ghostwriting.
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