Kauto Star: His greatest races

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

 

Kauto Star, the legendary 12-year-old chaser, has retired. Here, we consider in detail his greatest days on a racecourse.

1) Tingle Creek Chase, Sandown, December 3, 2005

Kauto Star's first Grade One haul on British soil, ridden for the first and only time by Mick Fitzgerald. Putting in a number of magnificent leaps, he quickened right away in the straight to with authority. Nicholls said at the time he was still improving, while Fitzgerald felt he had given the horse a bad ride.

2) Betfair Chase, Haydock, November 18, 2006

Having previously won the Old Roan at Aintree on his first try at two and a half miles, this was his acid test to find out if he could truly be a Gold Cup contender. Travelling with typical ease throughout and jumping with aplomb, he stretched away to beat Beef Or Salmon by 17 lengths.

3) Tingle Creek Chase, Sandown, December 2, 2006

In an unpredictable and unprecedented move, Nicholls dropped Kauto Star right back to two miles following his Haydock romp and it certainly paid off. He proved much too good for previous Arkle winner Voy Por Ustedes and for the first time people were asking whether Kauto could be beaten over any trip.

4) King George VI Chase, Kempton, December 26, 2006

The winning run continued when he returned to three miles in the festive showpiece, annihilating his rivals by eight lengths and more. This was the first time he had produced that dreaded final-fence mistake, but he was in a different class and it didn't matter in the end.

5) Cheltenham Gold Cup, March 16, 2007

Having been made to work hard by L'Ami to win the AON Chase, the doubters were circling as Kauto headed for his first Gold Cup. However, as Nicholls had warned, he turned up at Cheltenham a much fitter horse and having pulled clear from the turn for home, he powered up the hill to give Walsh his first taste of Gold Cup glory. This took his tally to six from six for the season.

6) Betfair Chase, Haydock, November 27, 2007

Having suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Monet's Garden on his reappearance at Aintree, many were saying Kauto was in decline. Although he bounced back to winning ways at Haydock, the knives were still out as he only just managed to edge out Exotic Dancer and, remarkably, some felt he still had questions to answer.

7) King George VI Chase, Kempton, December 26, 2007

The doubters were well and truly put in their place as Kauto bounced right back to his brilliant best to take this prize for the second year in succession. Our Vic was some 11 lengths back in second and Exotic Dancer only third. Kauto was back.

8) Cheltenham Gold Cup, March 14, 2008

The most highly-anticipated Gold Cup in many a year as Kauto faced his stablemate Denman for the first time. Denman was arriving on the back of stunning performances in the Hennessy, Lexus and the AON Chase, but Kauto was sent off the odds-on favourite. The writing was on the wall early for his supporters as he made a series of jumping errors and eventually gave best as Denman stretched clear up the hill, the big showdown never really materialising.

9) King George VI Chase, Kempton, December 26, 2008

Having created plenty of controversy when unseating Sam Thomas at the final fence in the Betfair Chase, Kauto was back to his spellbinding best under Walsh as they completed the King George hat-trick. Nicholls felt he had found the key to his charge by keeping him fresh and he would now return to Cheltenham without another run.

10) Cheltenham Gold Cup, March 13, 2009

With Denman having suffered heart problems and being beaten on his comeback, Kauto was sent off favourite to gain his revenge. In a race totally different to 12 months previous, Kauto showed his trademark cruising speed to hit the front running down the hill. Bravely, Denman went with him up to the turn for home before Kauto kicked into overdrive to become the first horse in history to regain the Gold Cup crown.

11) Betfair Chase, Haydock, November 21, 2009

Kauto went on to claim his third triumph in this valuable prize but he was made to work hard. The previous season's Ryanair Chase winner Imperial Commander was right with him passing the post but Kauto Star was eventually named the winner by the shortest of noses, much to the disbelief of trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies.

12) King George VI Chase, Kempton, December 26, 2009

History beckoned as Kauto Star aimed to become the first horse to win four successive King Georges and incredibly he produced arguably his most impressive performance to date at that point. His jumping was assured throughout and he didn't come off the bridle in scoring by 36 lengths. A truly magnificent display.

13) Cheltenham Gold Cup, March 19, 2010

Kauto Star went off at odds-on to win a third Gold Cup but there were gasps from the stands when he took a crashing fall four fences from home when beaten, having not been his usual fluent self from flag-fall. Thankfully the great horse was soon up on his feet and no harm was done.

14) JNwine.com Champion Chase, Down Royal, November 6, 2010

With questions to answer after his Gold Cup fall, Kauto Star travelled to Ireland for a second run in the Down Royal feature. Among the opposition was the top-class Sizing Europe, having his first try at three miles, and the well-regarded China Rock. Kauto momentarily looked like he would have a race on his hands, but in the end was a comfortable four-length winner from Sizing Europe.

15) King George VI Chase, Kempton, January 15, 2011

Again odds-on in chasing a staggering fifth King George, this was the day it looked like Father Time had caught up with Kauto Star as young pretender Long Run came of age. Having gone second he made a terrible blunder at the second-last, with Tony McCoy doing superbly to keep the partnership intact. The game was up from there, however, but even at the time he had looked likely to be beaten. In the end he was third, with Riverside Theatre second.

16) Cheltenham Gold Cup, March 18, 2011

Nothing odds-on about Kauto this time for his fifth run in the Gold Cup, and his sixth at the Festival, but there was almost just as much glory in defeat as there had been in victory. Always travelling well with old friend Denman, the Nicholls pair were full of running at the top of the hill. But younger legs would again seize the day as Long Run stayed on relentlessly. Kauto was a gallant third, with Denman second.

17) Guinness Gold Cup, Punchestown, May 4, 2011

The run that sparked calls in some quarters to call time on Kauto Star's career as a laboured performance in the big race of the Punchestown Festival saw him eventually eased and pulled up four from home. Connections were keen to stress no snap decisions on his future would be made, and that a view would be taken after his summer break.

18) Betfair Chase, Haydock, November 19, 2011

With his career hanging in the balance, Nicholls openly admitted he had Kauto Star as fit as he could possibly get him, for what would be his Gold Cup in terms of whether he raced on or not. Right from the word go, he bounced along like a horse half his age, and with Walsh getting a sufficient breather into him, he had plenty left to ping the last and readily see off Long Run. Rarely has there been a reception of the like for a winner outside of Cheltenham.

19) King George VI Chase, Kempton, December 26, 2011

Many expected Long Run to improve past Kauto Star in Boxing Day showpiece, but the old master once again proved he should never be written off. With the successful positive tactics used at Haydock once again applied, he produced some sensational leaps to leave each of his opponents hard at work. Long Run deserves a degree of credit for keeping on in the straight to take a clear second, markedly reducing the gap from Haydock, but it would once again be the magnificent Kauto Star's day, and with a performance perhaps as good as he has ever produced.

PA

Arts & Entertainment
The Honesty Policy is a group of anonymous Muslims who believe that the community needs a space to express itself without shame or judgement
music
News
Waitrose will be bringing in more manned tills
newsOverheard in Waitrose: documenting the chatter in 'Britain's poshest supermarket'
Life & Style
life
News
Who makes you happy?
happy listSend your nominations now for the Independent on Sunday Happy List
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Arts & Entertainment
Ian Anderson, the leader of British rock band Jethro Tull, (right) and British guitar player Martin Barre (left) perform on stage
musicJethro Tull frontman leads ‘prog rock’ revival
Arts & Entertainment
Back in the suit: There are only so many variations you can spin on the lives or adventures of Peter Parker
filmReview: Almost every sequence and set-up in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 seems familiar from some earlier superhero film
Arts & Entertainment
Jack Gleeson as Joffrey Baratheon in Game of Thrones
tv
Life & Style
Father and son: Michael Williams with son Edmund
lifeAs his son’s bar mitzvah approaches, CofE-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys he’s experienced in learning about his family’s other faith
Sport
Gareth Bale dribbled from inside his own half and finished calmly late in the final to hand Real a 2-1 win at the Mestalla in Valencia
sport
Arts & Entertainment
Who laughs lass: Jenny Collier on stage
comedy... writes Jenny Collier, the comedian whose recent show was cancelled because there were 'too many women' on the bill
News
House proud: keeping up with the Joneses now extends to children's playhouses
newsLuxury playhouses now on the market for as much as £800
News
news
Life & Style
Stir it up: the writer gets a lichen masterclass from executive chef Vivek Singh of the Cinnamon restaurants
food + drinkLichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines
Extras
indybest
Arts & Entertainment
Ken Loach (left) and Mike Leigh who will be going head to head for one of cinema's most coveted prizes at this year's Cannes Film Festival
filmKen Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
News
The academic, Annamaria Testa, has set out on her website a list of 300 English words that she says Italians ought to stop using
newsAcademic speaks out against 'Italianglo' - the use of English words in Italian language
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Apprentice IT Technician

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a company that specializ...

1st Line Technical Service Desk Analyst IT Apprentice

£153.75 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is an innovative outsourcin...

1st Line Helpdesk Engineer Apprentice

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...

Sales Associate Apprentice

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We've been supplying best of breed peopl...

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit