Gold Cup hero Long Run is likely to have one more run at Newbury next month before heading back to the Cheltenham Festival in March, it has been announced. Connections are keen to get another run into their star chaser after his successive defeats behind Kauto Star and the Denman Chase looks like the ideal destination for him. The race, formerly known as the Aon Chase, is the final chance for many of the Gold Cup contenders to have a run before the Festival. Long Run went into this season as the top chaser in the country after his success last season but he has been on the drift in the Cheltenham betting after having his colours lowered by Kauto Star. Their most recent match came in the King George on Boxing Day when once again Kauto Star set a strong gallop which Long Run was unable to live with and another rematch at in the Gold Cup is a mouth watering prospect.
Trainer Nicky Henderson has also said that the ear plugs Long Run usually dons in races will be taken out at Newbury with the horse now a confirmed stayer over three miles. It will be interesting to see how he fares having once been thought of as a horse who needed to be settled early on for fears of stamina but it now appears he will be allowed to run more freely against Kauto Star. The Gold Cup is always the feature race of the Cheltenham Festival and with Long Run and Kauto Star set to go head-to-head it could be a classic renewal in 2012. Kauto Star has returned to form in spectacular style despite now being a 12-year-old and although he has been in the best form it would still be a massive effort for him to beat the younger Long Run. The Denman Chase will be pivotal for Long Run as punters look to get one last look at the horse before he heads to Cheltenham for the biggest race of the season.