Star's return delights Nicholls but Monet's Garden holds sway
Monday 29 October 2007
In defeat, Kauto Star gave a performance at Aintree yesterday that caused his trainer to smile with anticipation and the bookmakers to scribble ever shorter prices for the champion's main targets at Kempton and Cheltenham.
Certainly there was no disgrace in going down by just a length and a half to Monet's Garden in the Old Roan Chase, trying to concede 14lb to a horse with top-grade ambitions and top-class credentials and who was perfectly suited to the track and trip. But the effort to get so close to the grey was an exhausting one, with encouragement from Ruby Walsh's whip being given halfway through the two and a half mile race.
So remote did Kauto Star's chance appear that in-running it was possible to back him at 29-1 on Betfair as Ashley Brook and Monet's Garden cut out the running. For a horse that had won the Tingle Creek Chase over two miles only last December, there seemed to be an inability to keep up with the pace.
Paul Nicholls, his trainer, was far from dismayed. "This was a starting point and we couldn't have asked for more. I've left plenty to work on," he said. "He did run lazy early on but my view now is that he wants a trip, and he has run his best races over three miles.
"This has set the season up brilliantly for us and he is a Gold Cup horse, which we will train him for now."
Coral clipped Kauto Star to 7-4 from 2-1 for the Cheltenham showpiece and to 5-4 from 11-8 for the King George VI Chase.
Nicky Richards, Monet's Garden's trainer, said: "To the second's credit he kept at it. He is a great horse. He'd be the only one who could give my horse weight like that – I promise you. It would have to be good ground for us to run in the King George, and his target will be back here in April."
Latest in Sport
Diego Costa injury: Chelsea striker a doubt for Everton match due to muscle injury
Mario Balotelli posts hilarious Beatles picture on Instagram as he awaits Liverpool debut
Arsenal transfer news: Arsene Wenger says he will be 'actively involved' on deadline day... but may not buy a striker despite Giroud injury
Arsenal vs Besiktas player ratings: Alexis Sanchez? Jack Wilshere? Mesut Ozil? Who was the star man at the Emirates Stadium?
Champions League draw: Liverpool meet Real Madrid, but should they fear facing the reigning champions?
- 1 Ashya King missing: Police hunt five-year-old boy with brain tumour snatched from Southampton hospital by his parents
- 2 Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
- 3 Daily Show's Jon Stewart destroys Fox News for its Ferguson coverage
- 4 Botched ice bucket challenge leaves man critically injured after plane drops hundreds of gallons of water
- 5 Friends reunion: Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow and Courteney Cox perform mini sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live
Exclusive: We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage
£32000 - £38000 Per Annum Bonus, Life Insurance + Other Benefits: Clearwater P...
£400 - £500 per day: Orgtel: Test Manager - Banking - West Yorkshire - £400-£5...
£19000 - £24000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have be...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: JOB DESCRIPTION - NURSERY ROOM LEADER...