The Grand National at Aintree is always packed full of some great stories this afternoon and that is certainly the case for one runner in particular today. The Nicky Henderson trained Long Run made his name as one of the very best staying chasers in the sport during the first part of his career and although he has lost his way slightly, many believe that he could burst back onto the big stage today with a famous Grand National success.
He won the Gold Cup in 2011 with the great Denman back in second place, while two wins at Kempton in the King George VI Chase ensure that Long Run is one the classiest entrants in the Grand National in recent times. More recently, Long Run has slipped below that top form though but connections believe that a run in the Grand National could re-ignite his fire. He has become more and more of a stayer as he has got older and provided he takes to the National fences, he would have to have a every chance.
Sam Waley-Cohen will be on-board Long Run this afternoon and although he is an amateur, few jockeys have a record like his over the National fences. He has won the Foxhunters Chase a number of times, including on Thursday on Warne, while he has been placed in the National twice before on Oscar Time. That record is very impressive indeed and punters have been taking note of that this week with Long Run continuing to attract support in the Grand National Betting market.
Other horses who have been attracting money so far on Grand National Day are the likes of Big Shu and Burton Port. Big Shu in particular will be well know to Cheltenham punters with the Peter Maher trained horse winning the Cross Country Chase in 2013. He is a dour stayer which is a plus while he ran well last time out at the Festival when finishing third in the defence of that Cross country crown. This will be a step up in terms of class for the Irish raider but plenty will be getting stuck into Big Shu at a nice each-way price.