Waley-Cohen looking forward to Long Run Grand National bid

February 12, 2014 - Could the tremendously popular amateur jump jockey Sam Waley-Cohen finally have the mount that is going to carry him to victory in the worldís greatest steeplechase, the Crabbies Grand National, run this year at Aintree on April 5?

Waley-Cohenís greatest moment came when partnering the high-class Long Run to victory in the 2011 Cheltenham Gold in the colours of his father, Robert. The great ex-French-trained gelding has also scaled the heights in winning the King George VI Chase at Kempton Park both in 2010 and in 2012.

Itís fair to say that Long Run has been in decline over the last season, a fact reflected by him getting into the Grand National with 11st 9lbs off a rating of 160 Ė thatís 22lbs below his career high of 182 achieved back in 2011/12. The first-time visor failed to do the trick for the gelded son of Cadoudal at Kempton last time out in the King George VI Chase in which the Nicky Henderson-trained nine-year-old was already a spent force and out of the place money when blundering badly and unseating Waley-Cohen at the final fence.

That was the first time Long Run had failed to complete a race in 29 starts, 14 of which have resulted in high quality victories. Connections feel that the unique challenge of Aintree might just rekindle the enthusiasm of the winner of more than £1.5 million in total prize money, currently quoted amongst the leading candidates for the marathon event at racing betting odds of 25/1.

On the big day it is more than likely that Waley-Cohenís high media profile, together with the fact that he rides a former Cheltenham Gold Cup winner, will result in a plunge in the racing live betting and it is far from beyond the bounds of possibility that he could very well go off favourite.

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