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King George VI

Nicholls retires Kauto the great before star has chance to wane

For Kauto Star to be retired yesterday, just 11 days after another paragon, should prompt due circumspection in assessing his own place in the Turf pantheon. Certainly, those who glibly saluted Frankel as "the greatest ever" on the Flat will surely feel abashed in according Kauto Star equivalent status in the history of steeplechasing, even with the customary rider "since Arkle". The sport incorrigibly anoints its latest champion as the best. In at least one respect, however, Kauto Star's career can be soberly acclaimed as an enduring benchmark – and "enduring" is very much the word.

Nathaniel exit opens Arc way to Camelot

A contagion of ill fortune appears to be sweeping through Europe's top middle-distance horses. A day after Danedream was suddenly confined to Cologne by quarantine regulations, the leading British contender for the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe yesterday joined the defending champion on the sidelines. Nathaniel is running a temperature and will not be able to run at Longchamp on Sunday.

Rainbow may reach for stars with gold (and Kauto) at end

With 64 days to go, the countdown to the Gold Cup can officially start. The entries were made yesterday, 34 of them, and all the names that should be there are there, with no ghastly errors of omission. Kauto Star, already the first horse to regain the Cheltenham crown, can go for a unique three in five years; his great rival Long Run can try to redeem his reputation as the future of this particular branch of the sport.

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Mon Parrain the Power play for Nicholls

Cheltenham racecourse, it was announced yesterday, is to be one of the stop-off points for the Olympic torch next May, early in its 70-day, 8,000-mile journey round Britain from Land's End to London. Before that, of course, there will be plenty to light up the Gloucestershire track that has become synonymous with jump racing's best. And with the Flat season's international finale, the Breeders' Cup, now in the form book the focus here is firmly on those who may, even at this early stage, be identified as medal hopes for next year's Festival.

Somersby back with a bang for Knight

The search for something to challenge Long Run for top chasing honours this season, which began in earnest when Weird Al and Time For Rupert left their rivals behind at Wetherby on Saturday, continued yesterday at Kempton, with a long-overdue victory for the talented Somersby, and will do so again this afternoon at Exeter, where Arkle Trophy hero Captain Chris is among a clutch of last term's talented novices returning to action.

Charlton must wait with Bated Breath

One of the leading fancies for next week's Nunthorpe Stakes, Bated Breath, is at risk of missing the York's Group One sprint feature after bruising a foot. The progressive four-year-old, who beat all bar Dream Ahead in the July Cup at Newmarket, is 7-1, challenging for third favouritism, in most lists to take the Coolmore-sponsored prize.