Aintree Could Be a Long Run For Henderson Star

7/10/13 - 2011 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner, Long Run, could be aimed at the Grand National this season - he will be nine years old by the time the race comes around.

The former French-bred horse has finished third in the Blue Riband event at the Cheltenham Festival in the last two consecutive years. But he did come out on top the year before to topple both Kauto Star and Denman in a strong renewal at Prestbury Park.

A shot at the 2014 Grand National has been discussed in the past for Nicky Hendersonís horse and connections may see this season as the perfect opportunity to enter.

Long Run won the King George for the second time in his career back in December when he beat Captain Chris by a head on Boxing Day. He could potentially return to Kempton for the hat-trick before being prepared for the Aintree showpiece in April over the bigger fences.

Although the 2011 winner was one of the fancied runners going into the feature at the Festival last season, Bobs Worth and Sir Des Champs, two of the novices in the field, outstayed him up the hill. Head gear was used for the first time on the horse which did seem to settle him well but he has no answer to the younger horses who looked fresher in the closing stages up to the line.

Some betting outlets suggest that fewer runners may enter the Grand National than in 2013, with Silviniaco Conti also likely to be in the mix, despite falling when travelling well back in March.

With that in mind, Long Run could have a better chance in the Grand National, where he would likely have to carry top weight and become the first horse to win the race with such a burden since Red Rum in 1974.

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