Champion jockey Tony McCoy believes that defending champion Long Run will be tough to beat when he lines up as favourite in the William Hill King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day.
Long Run will be defending his crown against the likes of Kauto Star, Master Minded and Captain Chris in the race, but McCoy thinks that they will do well to lower the colours of Nicky Henderson’s stable star.
The best odds available on Long Run winning the contest are currently 11/8 at William Hill
McCoy explained: "It would be nice if I had a ride in the King George, but it's going to be a good race nonetheless and I'm looking forward to it.
"It's one of the highlights of the season and this year is no different with Kauto Star, Long Run, Captain Chris and Master Minded. It's a race to look forward to.
"Long Run was a very good winner last year of the King George and was impressive in doing that. He went and franked the form again in the Gold Cup to prove it was no fluke.
"Kauto's win in Haydock was a great spectacle for horseracing. He's been an amazing horse, he's won four King Georges and is just an absolute superstar.
"There's no doubt he's going to give Long Run plenty to do, but I just feel that those Nicky Henderson horses have all been improving for each run that they've had and I think Long Run will be no different.
"I saw him schooling, he jumped fantastic, and as much as Kauto is as good a horse as we've ever seen, I just think he has probably got it all to do to beat Long Run again.
"He didn't jump at all at Haydock and obviously Kauto Star jumped brilliantly. He (Long Run) is probably going to be physically and mentally sharper for having a run at Haydock.
"The way Long Run improved last year from his first run to his second, if he makes the same improvement again - his first run this year was a lot better than his first run last year.
"If that's the case he is going to be very hard to beat."