Racing UK

Kauto Star sculptor Charlie Langton in the dark over Kempton statue plans

Wednesday 11 January 2017

The Kauto Star statue at Kempton

Equine sculptor Charlie Langton "would love to know" what will happen to his Kauto Star statue if Kempton closes down.

Langton was commissioned by the great horse's owner Clive Smith to produce an over-life-sized bronze statue of the five-time King George VI Chase winner, which was unveiled on Boxing Day in 2014.

Langton's work stands in the middle of Kempton's winner's enclosure, with half of Kauto Star's ashes buried alongside the specially commissioned statue, which took around eight months to complete.

But with the track's owners the Jockey Club having revealed proposals to close down the Sunbury track "from 2021 at the earliest", Langton is in the dark as to its final whereabouts - should the bulldozers move in.

He told Press Association Sport: "I've been wondering what will happen to it myself. I'd love to know.Hopefully they'll find somewhere nice."

Plans also remain fluid concerning the Desert Orchid statue, sculpted by Philip Blacker and unveiled at Kempton in 1991. The four-time King George hero's ashes are also buried at the track.

Jockey Club media director Scott Bowers said: "A lot needs to happen before a decision on them (the two statues) will be made.

"This is the very first step, announcing the proposal (to close Kempton).

"We'll get in contact with the owners of the statues and rather than speculate now we'll discuss what is best for the future of them."

The King George VI Chase, staged each year on Boxing Day, is one of the great races in the jumps season.

Desert Orchid first won the race in 1986 before he completed a stunning hat-trick between 1988-90.

Kauto Star's legend was made at Kempton when he joined the bold-jumping grey on the same number of King George wins between 2006-09

He then stunned the racing world with a fifth triumph in 2011.

Smith expects the statue to be moved to Sandown, the likely new destination of the King George if Kempton does close down.

He said: "There's a statue of Kauto Star there in the middle of the parade ring so I'm not sure what will happen to that.

"It might get moved to Sandown, I suppose.

"I never thought something like this would happen, but you just never know."

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