Tag Archives: kempton

Leonna Mayor – female jockey photshoot

From racing horses to racing hearts! Apprentice Mayor is a Grade One jockey

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

12:02 GMT, 7 January 2013

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UPDATED:

12:07 GMT, 7 January 2013

Leonna Mayor's job is to race horses, but with these pictures the young jockey will have hearts racing across the country.

The stunning 22-year-old is an apprentice at Alastair Lidderdale's stable – and already has 31 wins to her name.

And while her fledgling racing career remains in its infancy, these pictures will send her shooting to the forefront of all race-goers minds.

Weighing in: Mayor takes to the scales at Kempton Park in Surrey

Weighing in: Mayor takes to the scales at Kempton Park in Surrey

Mayor first appeared in MailOnline 18 months ago during a photoshoot alongside a number of other young female jockeys.

She revealed her desire at the time was to become a top jockey in racing circles. And there was also a revelation about her slightly embarrassing modelling past.

She said: 'My main ambition is to be known as a good female jockey and to get to a situation where trainers want to use me rather than my agent having to ask them.'

'Winning my fourth and most important race of the year (in 2011) on Thunderball at Pontefract when the owners could have used a more experienced jockey was a highlight.

She added: 'I did modelling as a youngster and was pictured wearing a hideous pink tracksuit in the Argos catalogue.'

Fitness regime: Mayor has revealed how much dedication is needed to remain trim for racing

Fitness regime: Mayor has revealed how much dedication is needed to remain trim for racing

Fitness regime: Mayor has revealed how much dedication is needed to remain trim for racing

Staying in shape is a key element of her day-to-day life as a jockey, but has admitted staying trim is a constant battle.

Leonna, 22, told the Daily Star: 'It is weird having to adjust your weight for different races but it becomes second nature.

'It makes dinners out difficult and, after a long day, the last thing I feel like doing is cooking a complicated meal. I eat a lot of soup and treat myself to a takeaway if I get a win!

'If I need to lose a pound or so, I
sweat in a hot bath. One of the lads suggested a couple of glasses of
wine the night before a race to dehydrate.'

Judging by these pictures, her fitness regime is working just fine.

Lacy racer: Mayor certainly has the pulses racing on and off the track

Lacy racer: Mayor certainly has the pulses racing on and off the track

Lacy racer: Mayor certainly sets the pulses racing on and off the track

Ruby Walsh aims to win the King George VI on Kauto Stone

'He's not Kauto Star but there'll never be another', says Walsh as he aims for King George VI glory on Kauto Stone

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UPDATED:

22:45 GMT, 23 December 2012

Ruby Walsh talks to Racing Correspondent Marcus Townend about his attempt to win a sixth King George VI Chase on Kauto Star's little brother Kauto Stone.

Christmas, a time for families. Ruby Walsh hopes that’s the case at Kempton on Boxing Day.

For five of the last six years, the Irish jockey has written ever more remarkable chapters in the King George VI Chase story as Kauto Star made history and ultimately eclipsed the achievements of legendary four-time winner Desert Orchid.

On Wednesday, Walsh will try to write the next one not in stone but on Stone, Kauto Stone, little brother of his horse of a lifetime.

The Christmas king: Ruby Walsh is focussed on fresh challenges as the steeplechasing world has changed

The Christmas king: Ruby Walsh is focussed on fresh challenges as the steeplechasing world has changed

‘He’s not Kauto Star,’ Walsh says with a smile, ‘there won’t ever be another Kauto Star. They’re like chalk and cheese really. Kauto Stone is a different colour and much smaller. But, then again, my brother’s six foot two!’

The 7-1 chance was a grade one winner in France before making the same trip across the Channel last year that Kauto Star made in 2004.

Kauto Stone opened up with a grade two chase win before four defeats, including a flop behind King George rival Riverside Theatre at Ascot in February when Walsh feels he was off colour. That setback dented the horse’s reputation.

But expectations have risen with last month’s win in Down Royal’s three-mile Grade One JNWine.com Champion Chase, a race Kauto Star won twice, when he fended off Flight Lieutenant, the subsequent Hennessy Gold Cup third.

Up for the challenge: Walsh talks to Sportsmail's Racing Correspondent Marcus Townend

Up for the challenge: Walsh talks to Sportsmail's Racing Correspondent Marcus Townend

Walsh, 33, says: ‘Kauto Stone is a decent horse in his own right. He was good when he won at Down Royal (in November). He proved he gets the three-mile trip which is a question mark for some of the others like Cue Card.

‘He was very good in France and at six-years-old, you’d be hoping there is a bit of improvement there. Trainer Paul Nicholls is very happy with him and Paul’s got a great record in the King George. If he’s happy, I’m happy.’

Happiness is not something that has come gift-wrapped in the Kauto Star world in the last fortnight with the public spat between owner Clive Smith and trainer Nicholls as the retired 12-year-old suddenly left the stable.

Walsh is careful not to get drawn into the crossfire.

The pressure is on: Walsh on-board Kauto Stone at Aintree earlier this year

The pressure is on: Walsh on-board Kauto Stone at Aintree earlier this year

‘I’ve been reading about it but my time with Kauto Star finished in March. I will forever love him and be indebted to him but I knew when he pulled up in the Gold Cup that I was finished with him,’ Walsh says.

‘My biggest nightmare had always been standing at the back of a fence holding him and waiting for a vet to come.

‘That didn’t happen so when we pulled up, I felt we had had a good time together.
‘I hope I did him justice, he gave me great days and we parted company on a happy note. I didn’t make a big deal of it because that was (Gold Cup winner) Synchronised’s day.

‘I hate it when the horse that is bowing out overshadows the winner. This game is about winning.’

In the post-Kauto Star era, winning the King George will look possible to all 10 jockeys who line up at Kempton.

The fight to be top staying chaser will continue in the Lexus Case at Leopardstown on Friday, when Flemenstar and Sir Des Champs clash again.

Past glory: Ruby Walsh smiles as he looks at Kauto Star after winning The William Hill King George VI in 2011

Past glory: Ruby Walsh smiles as he looks at Kauto Star after winning The William Hill King George VI in 2011

The landscape has changed, especially for Walsh. Old allies Denman, Neptune Collonges and Master Minded are all retired while Al Ferof, who would have been his King George mount, has a long-term injury.

The rider, too, is back to searching for the new chasing king and he detects vulnerability in 7-4 King George favourite Long Run, the former Gold Cup and King George winner who jousted with Kauto Star in his last two seasons.

The jockey says: ‘Long Run won the (2009) Feltham Novices’ Chase as a four-year-old. He was good at five and six when he won a King George and Gold Cup.

‘Maybe that was his peak, not unlike another French-bred, Master Minded. He was a runaway Champion Chase winner at five, just won at six and not the same at seven. Long Run is still running to a high level of form but not to the level when he won the King George and Gold Cup. Criticism of his amateur jockey Sam Waley-Cohen is not fair, but life is not fair.

‘When you get beaten you’re wrong. The first person to point a finger at is the guy on his back, be it AP, me or Sam.

‘People are jumping on the bandwagon because he is Mr Sam Waley-Cohen but I don’t agree with it. He is still the guy who won a King George, Gold Cup and Feltham Chase on him.

‘He is not doing anything different. I’d say the difference is the horse, not the jockey.’
But for Walsh, the horse really will be different on Boxing Day. Kauto Stone not Kauto Star.

He says: ‘It is different challenge on a new horse. A different era and a different time. It’s like anything, the more you are attached to it the more it hurts when it is not there and there is uncertainty, I suppose. But life moves on and so will I.’

Like a rolling Stone, maybe.

Ruby Walsh is sponsored by Racing UK and Daily Mail readers can enjoy a 25 per cent saving to the premium racing channel on Sky for 12 months. Call 0844 472 5777 (UK) or 0818 776 779 (ROI) and quote 'Daily Mail offer' before December 31.

Kauto Stone yet to find a jockey for King George VI Chase after Jacob suspension.

Kauto Stone yet to find a jockey for King George VI Chase after Jacob suspension

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UPDATED:

20:35 GMT, 17 December 2012

Connections of Kauto Star’s half-brother Kauto Stone have still to decide who will partner the six-year-old in the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day in the absence of the suspended Daryl Jacob.

Jacob was on board Kauto Stone when he landed the JNWine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal but will miss the lucrative Christmas period after picking up a 10-day ban for dropping his hands and mistaking the winning line at Wincanton on December 6.

As usual, Tony McCoy’s name has been in the frame but Charlie Liverton, racing manager to owner Robin Geffen, stated that as yet things are still up in the air and discussions are ongoing.

Jacob will miss the Christmas period after picking up a 10-day ban

Jacob will miss the Christmas period after picking up a 10-day ban

Liverton said: ‘Nothing has been finalised yet. Mr (Robin) Geffen (owner) and Paul Nicholls still need to sit down and come to a decision.

‘He's very much on target for the race, though, and has been doing everything nicely since Down Royal, touch wood.’

Meanwhile, trainer David Pipe has not ruled out the King George for Grands Crus who recently had a wind operation after disappointing when a red-hot favourite for the Paddy Power Gold Cup last month.

Pipe said: ‘He just had a routine gallop and everything is fine, I just wanted to keep everyone informed with his progress. He will be left in at the five-day stage and a decision on the King George will be made very late, as I've always said it will be.’

Grands Crus is as short as 10-1 for the King George, for which Long Run is the general 7-2 favourite.

Royal Ascot 2012: Fallen For You wins Coronation Stakes

Fallen For You runs Coronation cracker as Gosden enjoys one-two at Royal Ascot

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UPDATED:

15:33 GMT, 22 June 2012

Fallen For You led home stable companion Starscope to give John Gosden a one-two in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot.

William Buick brought the 12-1 shot through with a swooping challenge in the straight to run out a three-and-a-quarter-length winner.

Starscope filled the runner-up spot, with Irish History rounding off the top three.

Winner: William Buick rides Fallen For You to victory in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot

Winner: William Buick rides Fallen For You to victory in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot

Fallen For You made a winning reappearance on the all-weather at Kempton before finishing down the field in a Lingfield Group Three.

With 1,000 Guineas heroine Homecoming Queen (9-4 favourite) setting a strong pace, Buick was keen to bide his time. It proved a wise move as the pacesetters soon faltered.

The trailblazing tactics that were so effective for Homecoming Queen at Newmarket did not pay off in the Irish 1,000 Guineas and she once again faded quickly.

Irish Guineas winner Samitar fared best of the two Mick Channon-trained runners in fourth.

Gosden said: 'I always thought she was our best filly last year but I gave the wrong instructions in the Fillies' Mile.

'She was second in the May Hill and ran a bit green so I said be up there because the ground was riding fast and that was riding her back to front.

Done it: William Buick celebrates after winning on Fallen For You

Done it: William Buick celebrates after winning on Fallen For You

'Then she had a holiday and came back and I think she still had that in her mind as she was always too keen.

'Ryan (Moore) won on her at Kempton but it wasn't where we wanted to be.

'We then ran her behind a lovely older filly of Henry Cecil's (Chachamaidee), who was second in the Windsor Forest. She got in trouble but she learnt a lot.

'She trained beautifully, worked well last Sunday morning, and we were ready for a big run.

'They went hard up front, there's a strong headwind and she was just sat there. She is classy, this is not a fluke.'

Buick said: 'The fast pace suited her. Things have conspired against her in the past but today everything went perfect.

'She finished off really well and won
easily. Like John said, this is not a fluke. The turn of foot was
impressive against the best of her generation.'

Start the party: William Buick and Fallen For You are led in after winning the Coronation Stakes

Start the party: William Buick and Fallen For You are led in after winning the Coronation Stakes

Chris Richardson, managing director for Starscope's owners, Cheveley Park Stud, said: 'We're thrilled she's bounced back to her best. We drew a line under her Newbury run as she got upset in the parade.

'What she wants is a strong-run mile as I don't think she stays further. We'll see where John goes with his other fillies as she's ground dependent.'

Simon Crisford, Godolphin's racing manager, said of third-placed Art History: 'We're obviously delighted she's Group One-placed.

'She was a bit unlucky last time at Sandown and she's bred in the blue so it's great.'

Mick Channon said of Samitar and the sixth-placed Laugh Out Loud: 'We've no excuses. I'm pleased enough with Samitar but she was beaten fair and square.

'She's got lot of options and is in the Falmouth. Laugh Out Loud has been on the go a while and will have a break.

Homecoming Queen beat only two home, and her rider Joseph O'Brien said: 'She just didn't fire.'l

Kauto Star back on track for Cheltenham Gold Cup

Kauto boost! Whisper it softly but the Star of racing is back on track

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UPDATED:

19:45 GMT, 9 March 2012

Kauto Star's place in the Cheltenham
Gold Cup field looks virtually assured after he emerged from a gallop
under Ruby Walsh at Wincanton with flying colours.

Having been rated only '50-50' to
take part a week ago following a heavy fall in a jumping session at
Nicholls' Somerset stable, the trainer last night said the dual Gold Cup
winner was 'almost certain' to run on Friday and is back in the same
sparkling form as when he won a record fifth King George VI Chase at
Kempton's Christmas meeting.

Up for the Cup: Ruby Walsh rides Kauto Star at Wincanton

Up for the Cup: Ruby Walsh rides Kauto Star at Wincanton

Nicholls said: 'Ruby said he was very pleased and he could hardly hold him. He was full of enthusiasm and quickened up nicely. He wouldn't have done that if anything was wrong with him.

'If he is all right tomorrow, which I'd say he will be, and he schools all right on Monday, we are in business. There has been a massive improvement in him. I can't tell you how big the difference is since last Friday and now. It's just phenomenal.

'What I like about him is that he is in the sort of nick he was before winning at Haydock and the King George this season.'

Kauto Star, who remains 7-2 Gold Cup second favourite with Coral, was so full of beans before his workout, he lashed out and narrowly missed a TV camera with his off-hind leg.

Boost: Kauto Star owner Clive Smith (left) with trainer Paul Nicholls at Wincanton

Boost: Kauto Star owner Clive Smith (left) with trainer Paul Nicholls at Wincanton

Nicholls plans to school the 12-year-old
over two brush hurdles and a couple of fences on Monday with Walsh once
again on board before finally confirming his presence in the Gold Cup.

Meanwhile, Nicholls, who had earlier completed a double at his local track courtesy of Oscarslad and Openingbatsmen, confirmed that Sir Alex Ferguson will have three runners, What A Friend (Daryl Jacob) in the Gold Cup, National Hunt Chase favourite Harry The Viking (Will Biddick) while Empire Levant (Harry Derham) represents him in the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle.

Nicholls's juvenile hurdler Hinterland might run in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle but might be saved for Aintree after he worked disappointingly this week.

Kauto Star to renew rivalry with Long Run in the Cheltenham Gold Cup

Kauto Star to renew rivalry with Long Run in the Cheltenham Gold Cup

The stage is set for Kauto Star and Long Run to clash again in the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup on March 16.

Both star names appeared among a total of 34 entries for the blue riband event on the final day of The Festival.

Rivals: Long Run (left) and Kauto Star

Rivals: Long Run (left) and Kauto Star

Last year it looked as if Long Run had signalled a new era for steeplechasing when dethroning Kauto Star in the King George at Kempton, preventing a fifth straight success in the Christmas highlight.

When Nicky Henderson's youngster then saw him off again in the Gold Cup, along with the now-retired Denman, it appeared Long Run was the one to beat.

However, Kauto Star has already created history once by becoming the first horse to reclaim the Gold Cup and he is a general 4-1 shot to claim another place in the record books.

He saw off Long Run by eight lengths
at Haydock and while his younger rival closed the gap at Kempton, Paul
Nicholls' superstar reclaimed his King George crown.

Kauto Star is aiming to become the first 12-year-old winner of the race since What A Myth in 1969.

Long Run The Gold Cup

Top attraction: Long Run

Henderson has also entered long-term absentee Burton Port and surprisingly Finian's Rainbow, while Nicholls could run What A Friend, who was fourth 12 months ago, Tidal Bay, Poquelin and The Minack.

David Pipe's novice Grands Crus is regarded by some as a potential fly in the ointment for the big two.

He managed to beat all bar the seemingly-unbeatable Big Buck's over hurdles last term and has taken to fences seamlessly, with a Grade One win already under his belt.

Pipe may also run Junior, a Festival winner last term.

Jonjo O'Neill's Synchronised burst onto the Gold Cup scene when beating the best Ireland had to offer in the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown and would be a force on soft ground.

Dual Ryanair winner Albertas Run has also been entered.

Last year's Arkle winner Captain Chris ran a respectable race when third in the King George after an interrupted preparation and will aim to give Philip Hobbs a first win in the race.

One of last season's best staying novices was Gordon Elliott's Jessies Dream and while he has not been out this season, his whole campaign is being built around the Gold Cup.

Another Irish challenger is Quito De La Roque for the excellent Colm Murphy while last year's RSA winner Bostons Angel is also entered.

Willie Mullins has entered Apt Approach, Quel Esprit and The Midnight Club while Magnanimity could run for Dessie Hughes.

Enlarge

Star turn: Trainer Paul Nicholls (left) and Kauto Star

Star turn: Trainer Paul Nicholls (left) and Kauto Star

Time For Rupert, Little Josh, Weird Al and Mon Mome also appear among the entries. Also there is China Rock, who was in the process of running a massive race last season when he picked up an injury.

“China Rock is running over hurdles at Punchestown on Saturday and we hope that he can head to Cheltenham once again as he was in the process of running a big race before breaking down in the Gold Cup last year,” said his trainer Mouse Morris.

“He had stem cell treatment, like War Of Attrition received, afterwards and has been back in training quite a while now.

“The ground is important to him as he wants a decent surface. Obviously, every day is a bonus when a horse comes back from a tendon injury like his but he's going well and the plan is to head to Cheltenham.”

Despite meeting with defeat in his two runs this season, the sponsors, who will be going non-runner-no-bet from Thursday morning, make Long Run their 11-4 favourite.

“Long Run and Kauto Star currently head the market for the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup after their epic tussles in both the Betfair Chase and King George this season,” said Betfred spokesman George Primarolo.

“However, Grands Crus is an extremely interesting entry and punters can now back David Pipe's novice safe in the knowledge that they will get their money back should the horse take up an alternative entry at the Festival.”

Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup – sponsors bet: 11-4 Long Run, 4-1 Kauto Star, 8-1 Grands Crus, 10-1 Synchronised, 16-1 Captain Chris, 20-1 Time For Rupert, 25-1 Diamond Harry, Jessies Dream, Quel Esprit, Quito De La Roque, The Minack, Weird Al, 33-1 Albertas Run, Finian's Rainbow, 40-1 bar.

Kauto Star wins King George VI

Five-star Kauto! Walsh guides veteran home to record King George VI win

Kauto Star became the first horse in history to land the William Hill King George VI Chase at Kempton five times with a quite brilliant performance under Ruby Walsh.

Just as he had been when landing Haydock”s Betfair Chase last month, the Paul Nicholls-trained 3-1 chance was once again ridden positively for this three-mile test.

The 11-year-old was in front with a circuit to go and as he quickened the pace heading down the back straight, he produced some sensational leaps to get his rivals in trouble.

Top of the world: Ruby Walsh celebrates victory on Kauto Star

Top of the world: Ruby Walsh celebrates victory on Kauto Star

Edged out: Long Run just couldn

Edged out: Long Run just couldn”t catch Kauto Star

Last season”s King George and Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Long Run stayed on tenaciously in the home straight, but Kauto Star was not for catching and had a length and a quarter in hand at the line.

The incredible French-bred gelding had all but been written off at the start of the season, having been left chasing Long Run”s shadow in the King George and the Gold Cup before pulling up at Punchestown in May.

Withhis career on the line, the veteran produced a superb performance at Haydock in November to consign Long Run to the runner-up spot, but the general feeling was that Nicky Henderson”s stayer would make the bigger step forward at Kempton.

However,Kauto Star travelled strongly throughout and it was clear from the turnfor home that Long Run was failing to match his impressive speed and jumping.

Storming to glory: Ruby Walsh takes Kauto Star over the last fence

Storming to glory: Ruby Walsh takes Kauto Star over the last fence

Delight: Walsh beams after his victory at Kempton

Delight: Walsh beams after his victory at Kempton

While the latter did bridge the gap from Haydock, Kauto Star was always in complete command and was once again too strong.

William Hill cut Kauto Star to 9-2 from 10-1 to claim a third Cheltenham Gold Cup, with Long Run eased to 3-1 from 5-2.

Nicholls said: “He”s just awesome and I knew we had him in serious order. I don”t know why he wasn”t quite right last year.

“It was a massive plus having Ruby (Walsh) here today and it”s just unbelievable. It”s amazing. He”s just the best. If he gets to Cheltenham in that form he”ll be the one to beat (in the Gold Cup).”

Party time: Walsh and Kauto Star with Clive Smith and Paul NIcholls

Party time: Walsh and Kauto Star with Clive Smith and Paul NIcholls

Rivals: Fans show their support for Long Run at Kempton

Rivals: Fans show their support for Long Run at Kempton

Walsh added: “He”s an amazing horse. I said to Clive Smith I don”t know how he”ll run, but he looked a million dollars and he felt great. He jumped super and travelled great.

“This is a fairytale. He”s a wonderful horse and it”s a credit to the people who work with him every day. He”s beaten a six-year-old (Long Run) and he”s 12 next week. To keep a horse going as long as that is amazing.

“You can say what you want about the best steeplechasers of all time, but he”s outlasted them all. He”s lasted longer than any other horse and that”s what makes him so brilliant. This horse is as tough as nails and he”s exceptional.”

Owner Smith said: “I knew this was the biggest day of my racing life – 24 years or so. It”s unbelievable and I”m so proud. He”s such a magnificent animal.

“He”s got such a heart. He wants to go on. He”s a lion. I”m so pleased, I can”t tell you how excited I am. I”m shaking.”

Kauto Star can win fifth King George – Peter Scudamore

Brilliant Kauto can Star again and claim an amazing fifth King George triumph

Sportsmail”s PETER SCUDAMORE looks at the key issues surrounding Boxing Day’s King George VI Chase and explains why he thinks Kauto Star can win the race for a record fifth time.

Does Long Run still deserve to be hot favourite after his defeat at the hands of Kauto Star in last month’s Betfair Chase

Long Run deserves to be favourite but only just. He is taking on one of the best chasers of all time in Kauto Star, who made fools of those who had written him off going into last month’s Betfair Chase.

He might be in the twilight of his career but he pulverised Long Run at Haydock. The faith that trainer Paul Nicholls and jockey Ruby Walsh have
in being able to push on in a race with Kauto Star, confident he will last home, means they can exert pressure and pressure alters outcomes.

Kauto Star at his best is probably better than Long Run. The question is just how close he remains to his peak. Haydock suggested he was not far off.

Long Run’s amateur jockey Sam Waley-Cohen is extremely competent, but he’s no Ruby Walsh. It’s another point in Kauto’s favour. Long Run proved his talent last season but the great champions keep doing that.

Beating an elite yardstick in Kauto Star in the King George for a second season would be a massive boost to a reputation still in construction.

What a star: Kauto Star wins his third King George at Kempton in 2008

What a star: Kauto Star wins his third King George at Kempton in 2008

Is this contest a two-horse race — Kauto Star versus Long Run

The big two stand out on their best form but Master Minded and Somersby are both good enough to take advantage of any small dips in performance.

Somersby looked big and capable of plenty of improvement when second in the Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon earlier this month. That race had not been part of the original plan and trainer Henrietta Knight likes to bring her horses on gradually.

This is his first try at three miles and it’s a trip he looks to have been crying out for. Kempton also suits him. It’s impossible to say whether former champion two-mile chaser Master Minded will stay the distance – no-one
thought Desert Orchid would before he landed his first King George in 1986. But he’s not a tearaway and I think there’s a good chance he will last home.

Does Long Run’s jumping still concern you

It’s definitely an unresolved issue. I was disappointed with the lack of rhythm when he made costly mistakes at Haydock. He was brave to be off
the bridle for so long and keep galloping.

Trainer Nicky Henderson and his team have worked tirelessly on Long Run’s jumping. Being sharper physically and mentally will help but Long Run supporters will want to see their choice travelling well early and settling in a metronomic tempo. Walsh will be determined not to let him do so.

Victory: Long Run claimed victory in January

Victory: Long Run claimed victory in January”s King George

What chance does Master Minded have of staying the three-mile distance on his first race at the trip

After Haydock, Ruby Walsh will surely be keen to turn the power on aboard Kauto Star. That should mean a strong pace which many would
envisage being a negative given question marks over Master Minded’s stamina. But, for me, that makes the job of his jockey Daryl Jacob easier.

The presence of a higher-profile stablemate has eased the pressure on him. His mount can sit at the back, relax and switch off. Jacob wants them to go too fast and hope they wilt in front.

Given a free choice, what would you ride

Tough call, but Kauto Star’s performance in winning his fourth Betfair Chase at Haydock last month swings me in his favour. I’d stick with the
old champion and try to make history with a fifth King George triumph.

Verdict : 1 Kauto Star, 2 Long Run, 3 Somersby

Kieren Fallon"s partner Kirsty Milczarek banned by BHA

Two-year ban for Fallon”s jockey partner Milczarek after BHA corruption probe

Top female rider Kirsty Milczarek, the partner of former champion jockey Kieren Fallon, has been banned from racing for two years after the biggest corruption probe the sport has ever seen.

Milczarek, who has vowed to appeal against the suspension, was one of four riders punished.

The web of conspiracy involved race-fixing and the sale of sensitive information.

Disgraced: Kirsty Milczarek hides her face at Kempton Park on Wednesday night

Disgraced: Kirsty Milczarek hidesher face at Kempton Park on Wednesday night

Jockeys Paul Doe and Greg Fairley, who prevented their mounts from obtaining the best possible placing, received 12-year bans, while Jimmy Quinn was suspended for six months.

Owners James Crickmore and Maurice Sines were banned for 14 years. The verdicts follow a British Horseracing Authority investigation into 13 individuals and 10 races in 2009.

Couple: Milczarek (right) with former champion jockey Kieren Fallon

Couple: Milczarek (right) with former champion jockey Kieren Fallon

In the dock: Jimmy Quinn was found to have been in breach of racing rules In breach: Paul Doe

In the dock: Jimmy Quinn (left) and Paul Doe (right) have both been suspended

Sam Waley-Cohen free to ride Long Run despite ban

Sam”s lucky escape: Waley-Cohen free to ride Long Run despite Fakenham ban

Despite picking up a 12-day ban at Fakenham on Monday, jockey Sam Waley-Cohen will be free to ride Long Run in the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day.

If he had been a professional rider he would have missed out on partnering his Cheltenham Gold Cup winner. However under the rules of racing, as an amateur, he serves his ban only on days when there are races for amateur riders.

Off the hook: Sam Waley-Cohen will be free to ride Long Run on Boxing Day

Off the hook: Sam Waley-Cohen will be free to ride Long Run on Boxing Day

Waley-Cohen, who was leading on Otage De Brion when he took his mount away from the fence into the front of the stands, said he thought his mount had swallowed his tongue so pulled him up. However, he was banned for taking the wrong course.

The BHA said the first day of his ban would be January 1 with the other dates to be confirmed.

Fierce rival: Kauto Star will also line up for King George

Fierce rival: Kauto Star will also line up for King George

Meanwhile, trainer Paul Nicholls announced that four-time winner Kauto Star will run in the King George while Noland will represent Nicholls in the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown on December 28 following the retirement of Denman.

And veteran sprinter The Tatling signed off his career with a success at Wolverhampton on Monday. The 14-year-old was recording his 18th win on his 176th appearance.