It would be churlish to complain that little could be learnt from Kauto Star's spin round Wincanton yesterday evening. Merely by stretching his legs in public, the cherished veteran was able to lend substance to the sense of optimism that had been gathering over recent days. And while not asked to do a great deal by Ruby Walsh, exactly a week before the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup, he exuded such enthusiasm that his trainer, Paul Nicholls, felt able to declare: "I think we'll be fine now."
After a schooling fall two weeks ago, the champion trainer was rating his dual Gold Cup winner only "50-50" to line up on Friday. He was much happier, however, after watching Kauto Star bounding up the straight alongside Mon Parrain. "Just what I wanted to see," Nicholls said. "Ruby could hardly hold him, or pull him up at the end. And the horse looks fantastic."
Kauto Star's last major test awaits on Monday, in another schooling session. "He's moving well and in good spirits," Walsh declared.
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