LONG Run will head straight for the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup after trainer Nicky Henderson decided against a prep run at Newbury this weekend.
The Seven Barrows handler had pencilled in Saturday's Betfair Denman Chase as a next port of call for his King George VI Chase winner following his Kempton success on Boxing Day.
However, Henderson has decided to sidestep the Grade Two heat, which Long Run won last year, as he is not keen to run his staying star on testing ground.
Long Run will now go to Cheltenham without another run as he looks to regain the title he won in 2011.
"Long Run is not running (at Newbury). We just decided with it being soft to heavy and everything, we are not desperate to go," said Lambourn trainer Henderson.
"We are under no pressure so we will go our own way."
Long Run is a general 8-1 chance for the Cheltenham feature on March 15.
Meanwhile, Henderson's Simonsig features among 11 entries for Saturday's Betfair Super Saturday Chase at Newbury.
Henderson won the race, better known as the Game Spirit Chase, with novice Sprinter Sacre last year and he could try to repeat the trick with the seven-year-old grey.
The Seven Barrows handler also has French Opera and Tanks For That as back-up to his Arkle favourite.
Henderson had indicated he might enter Simonsig in the Racing Post Arkle Trophy Trial Novices' Chase, better known as the Kingmaker, at Warwick on Saturday.
However, he has opted not to put him in that Grade Two race as stable jockey Barry Geraghty will be at the Berkshire circuit.
"He's in Game Spirit but not the Warwick race as Barry will be at Newbury," he said.
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