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History making Long Run Storms to Gold Cup Victory on Day Four

Friday 18th March 2011

Trained by Nicky Henderson, Long Run ran himself into the record books by becoming the first six year old to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup since Mill House achieved the feat in 1962. Ridden by amateur Sam Waley-Cohen, who became the first amateur jockey to win the race for thirty years, Long Run had looked beaten two from home and the race looked like developing into a finish between the two great 11 year old war horses, stablemates and former winners, Denman and Kauto Star. However as they jumped two from home, Long Run began his comeback using his younger age to his advantage going past both on the run in to the final fence.

Denman who has never finished out of the first two in any race at Cheltenham proved himself the stronger of the Paul Nicholls pair however, maintaining that record by finishing an incredibly gallant runner up on ground that he was not really suited to. Kauto Star hung on grimly to hang on to third place from What A Friend also from the stable of Nicholls in who ran on very strongly at the finish.

Defending champion, Imperial Commander who had every chance rounding the final bend was pulled up after clattering a couple of fences and becoming sore due to the firmer ground.

The win was a first Gold Cup for Henderson and represented just reward for being a top National Hunt trainer for forty years, it was also his first Chase victory at the Festival for five years as well as his second winner on Gold Cup afternoon.

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