If Long Run takes his place in the Punchestown Gold Cup later this month he may face up to four Gigginstown House Stud rivals – Sir Des Champs, First Lieutenant, Roi Du Mee and Quito De La Roque

This year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup third Long Run will look to take on the Cheltenham Festival seconds Sir Des Champs and First Lieutenant in the feature race at Punchestown later this month. Sir Des Champs who beat Long Run up the Cheltenham hill is quoted as favourite for the race at around 2/1 with recent The Betfred Bowl winner First Lieutenant third in the market  with Ladbrokes at 4/1.

Long Run may also have to contend with the Gordon Elliott trained Roi Du Mee  who will come to the race off an outstanding string of performances this season with the last being a win in the Imperial Call Chase at Cork . The final member of the Gigginstown four, Quito De La Roque had the measure of Elliott’s horse when they met in the Grade Two Kinloch Brae Chase but finished well behind his fellow Gigginstown chaser First Lieutenant at Aintree last time.

First Lieutenant
First Lieutenant is one of the four Gigginstown horses

The Gigginstown team have been successful once before in the race with War of Attrition back in 2006. War of Attrition was trained by Mouse Morris whose yard will be sending out First Lieutenant as there 2013 hope. If Long Run and the Waley-Cohens are to beat the  impressive array of Gigginstown rivals they will have to be on the top of their game. Running well at Cheltenham and a gallant winner of the King George this year the signs are there but he will have to turn round the form with the Willie Mullins stayer Sir Des Champs who seems to hold all the aces.

Also entered into the Punchsetown Gold Cup are King George second Captain Chris, 2012 Ryanair winner Riverside Theatre and the former champion two miler Sizing Europe who holds a couple of Festival entries and may prefer a potential clash with Sprinter Sacre in the Champion Chase instead.

Connections have suggested that Long Run is likely take up the engagement and are considering whether or not he will make another attempt at regaining his Cheltenham Gold Cup crown next year. If he does or not it looks certain that Long Run will be heading to Kempton at Christmas. However, the most exciting news for punters to come from the camp is that they are seriously considering a crack at the Grand National in 2014 and/or 2015.

Punchestown Gold Cup Betting (Ladbrokes) – Sir Des Champs 2/1, Long Run 3/1, First Lieutenant 4/1,  Roi Du Mee 8/1, Captain Chris 8/1, Sizing Europe 8/1, Riverside Theatre 10/1, Kauto Stone 10/1 and Quito De La Roque 20/1


(Featured Photograph – The Waley-Cohens at Cheltenham by Stuart Rice)

(Photograph – First Lieutenant before the Ryanair at Cheltenham by Stuart Rice)