Racing UK’s Kauto Star tribute
Thursday 1 November 2012
By Geoffrey Riddle
Kauto Star's retirement has left a seemingly impossible void to fill in the National Hunt ranks.
The five-time King George and dual Gold Cup victor will remain in his box at Paul Nicholls' Ditcheat yard until at least Christmas as owner Clive Smith decides what to do with the best-loved, and most able chaser since Arkle trod the Turf in the 1960s.
Smith, who has agreed to allow Kauto Star to parade at Haydock ahead of this month's Betfair Chase, was understandably effusive in his praise for Kauto Star when he spoke to Racing UK about his 12-year-old, who won 41 times in all and accumulated nearly £2.5 million in prize-money.
“He’s had a wonderful career but Father Time was catching up on him and we felt there was no point carrying on," Smith said.
“I still think he would win races, but we’ve made the right decision and I am happy.”
Watch the full interview below:
When Racing UK went down to Ditcheat recently to catch up with Ruby Walsh and the Nicholls team, Niall Hannity interviewed Walsh about the champion chaser, who Timeform consider to be the best since Arkle and Flying Bolt.
In the interview Walsh described Kauto Star, who he rode to 17 victories, as "a horse of a lifetime." Walsh added: "I was just so lucky to ride him."
Watch the interview below, while Walsh also spoke to Racing UK yesterday on Kauto's retirement here:
Although Kauto Star's far exceeded anything we have seen in a generation, it was his searing pace, blended with the ability to extend that turn of foot over 3m 2f that marked him out as one of the true greats. In his prime his fluid jumping made it difficult for other jockeys to keep tabs on him during races, despite his propensity to attempt to walk through the last fence when losing concentration.
His durability was also immense, having started his career as a three-year-old, and he retires with a race record of 23 wins from 41 starts.
Of all his 23 victories, however, it is his triumph in the Betfair Chase last season that will "live longest in the memory" according to trainer Nicholls.
Nicholls admitted he was fightiong back the tears after Kauto Star rolled back the years to defeat Long Run, the young pretender, and you can re-live that glorious occasion, with the spine-tingling commentary from Stewart Machin below.
Kauto Star Factfile:
Sire: Village Star
Dam: Kauto Relka
Foaled: March 19, 2000 in France
Owner: Clive Smith
Trainer: Paul Nicholls
Jockeys since arriving in Britain: Ruby Walsh, Mick Fitzgerald, Sam Thomas and Tony McCoy
Career earnings: £2,375,883
Race record: 23 wins from 41 starts, including 16 victories at Grade One level.
Major races won: Cheltenham Gold Cup (2007 and 2009), King George VI Chase (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2011), Betfair Chase (2006, 2007, 2009 and 2011), Tingle Creek Chase (2005 and 2006), Ascot Chase (2008), JNwine.com Champion Chase (2008 and 2010), AON Chase (2007).
Watch Kauto Star's final victory in the 2011 King George VI Chase at Kempton below:
To vote in our poll as to Kauto Star's greatest race, click here: