01/17/2011 12:45PM

Kauto's Star Dimmed at Kempton

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Star Perhaps the spirit of Desert Orchid watching on high from somewhere up in horsey heaven had something to do with it as Kauto failed in his bid to win an unprecedented fifth title in the King George VI Chase at Kempton Park on Saturday. Had the 4-7 favorite won the 3-mile chase, he would have broken the deadlock he shared with Desert Orchid at four King George triumphs. Instead he finished third as Long Run prevailed by 12 lengths over his Nicky Henderson-trained stablemate Riverside Theatre with Kauto Star 7 lengths further back in third.
Kauto Star never looked comfortable on the good to soft ground. He tracked the pacesetting Nacarat for the first seven of the 18 fences but was not jumping particularly well under Tony McCoy. Second again entering the stretch, he blundered at the second last and fell back to third as the 9-2 Long Run cruised to victory under his amateur rider Sam Waley-Cohen, the son of winning owner Robert Waley-Cohen. Nacarat faded to fourth, 5 lengths behind Kauto Star.
Afterwards the favorite's trainer Paul Nicholls said that Kauto Star had bled during the race but did not offer that as an excuse for defeat. The race took its toll on two other participants as Forpadydeplasterer, pulled up before the twelfth fence, returned "a sick horse" according to his trainer Tom Cooper, failing to scope clean. The Nightingale, pulled up before the second last, was found to be suffering from a fibrillating heart.
Despite his defeat, Kauto Star is on track for an attempt at a third victory in the Cheltenham Gold Cup on March 15 when he will very likely meet Long Run again.

Alice More than 1 year ago
I was at Kempton watching the King George and it was quite clear from the first circuit that it wasn't going to be Kauto's day. He was later found to be suffering from a slight infection, so probably a combination of that illness, the delay in running the race, his age and the brilliance of the younger Long Run conspired to deny him. Hopefully he can have one last hurrah before retiring but the the horse owes no one anything. He's not an AQPS as far as I'm aware. He's always been spoken of as a pure thoroughbred. He is by Village Star out of Kauto Reika. Being French bred doesn't automatically mean a a horse is an AQPS. One dual King George and Gold Cup winner, The Fellow was an AQPS and he had a lot of success in this country. As far as I know, there are no restrictions in chase or hurdle races.
ManuelB More than 1 year ago
Alan, Your posts are the first I read; keep up the good work. Do you when the AQPS horses were allowed to race in British jump races? Could they also run in flat races? (It's been a long time that AQPS's could run in British and Irish jump races. The Fellow ran in the King George VI Chase as far back as 1990, but it took a long time before British owners and trainers got wise to their talent. It was the great Martin Pipe, the man who revolutionized British jump training methods, who led the way in that respect. They can't, however, run in British flat races. Nor can they run in French flat races.) AS
Tom More than 1 year ago
Hello, Alan. Hope you and everyone else is having a good day. In reading your previous article on Kauto Star, it was noted that there were some French influence on his training. That raised a question on his breed and on the restrictions that might apply to chase races. Is Kauto Star a Selle Francais? As a corollary, are the chase races restricted to thoroughbreds or can horse of the Selle Francais breed and other breeds compete? Thank you for the two articles. Look forward to your articles in mid-March on the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Regards, Tom (Kauto Star, like 2009 Grand National winner Mon Mome, are AQPS. Those horses are now eligible to run in British jumps races. Their extraordinary stamina has them dominating the British jump racing scene) AS