Soft ground is concern for Henderson

Nicky Henderson has grave concerns that the likely soft ground will be against Riverside Theatre in Saturday's rearranged William Hill King George at Kempton.

Clerk of the course Barney Clifford has issued a wet going bulletin, with rain forecast every day as Kauto Star bids for a record fifth successive victory in the three-mile contest.

Owned by actor James Nesbitt, Riverside Theatre's best form has come on a sounder surface. In his favour, the seven-year-old is unbeaten in four races at Kempton, including his only start this term.

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"I'm worried the ground has gone against Riverside Theatre. He's in great form and on good ground I would be really keen," said the Seven Barrows handler.

Henderson is less worried about the state of the going for his other runner, Long Run. The Feltham winner handled very soft ground in his early career in France but the worry is that he was trained to peak for Boxing Day.

Owner Robert Waley-Cohen, however, believes that this could be compensated by his horse's improved jumping following a successful schooling session.

"The ground is what it is and I'm not worried about it, it's the same for everyone," said the owner whose son Sam, an amateur jockey, will ride Long Run. "He won at Auteuil eight times in very soft ground. I was down in Lambourn yesterday, Sam gave him a pop and I have never seen him jump so well.

"All young horses have to learn and I think he's got the message."

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