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  1. #1

    Kauto Star : Retired 5 time king George winner

    Kauto Star (FR)
    Age: 12 (Foaled March 19th, 2000)
    Sex: Bay Gelding
    Breeding: Village Star - Kauto Relka (Port Etienne)
    Trainer: P F Nicholls
    Owner: Mr Clive D Smith
    Last edited by mayo; 11-04-2012 at 09:21 PM.

  2. #2
    October 2012

    No final decision has been made on whether he will race again, but Nicholls’ inclination to keep going with him appears to be waning.

    Nicholls told Racing UK: “It’s a difficult one. He’s in good shape but we need to have a sit-down and a serious talk with Clive, see what he wants to do and then get in bed with what Clifford (Baker, head lad) and I want to do and meet in the middle.

    “I’m not saying he couldn’t win another race, but he’s achieved so much you just think what else can he do. You don’t want to take any chances with him.

    “Every day they exercise you are always taking a chance so we’ll just see. We said we’ll see how the next month went, then make a decision and let everybody know.”

  3. #3
    The long goodbye to Kauto Star began seven months ago when punters at the Cheltenham Festival turned away from the Gold Cup in mid-race to applaud a horse who had come to a standstill.

    Pulled up at the age of 12 in an event he had won twice before, Kauto Star cantered back under Ruby Walsh as Synchronised went on to take the Festival’s most cherished prize. It felt like the end that day but only now has the winter game officially lost its hero.

    “We have had nine superb years with the horse but, after seeing him in his work these past few weeks, myself, Clifford [Baker, head lad] and Dan [Skelton, assistant trainer] were of the opinion that the time had arrived to retire him,” Nicholls said through his Betfair column.

    “Don’t get me wrong, Kauto looks and feels as vibrant as ever, as those who saw him at our owners’ Open Day last month would testify. He was mad fresh that day and continues to be as alert as ever and very, very well in himself. But I suspect Kauto will be like that when he is 20 years old.

    “And, deep down, we know he has done enough – and, in some ways I think we have to protect him from himself. And maybe ourselves, too.”
    Temptation has been resisted. Time has been obeyed. Nicholls’ view on retirement is that great horses can decline rapidly if they are cast into a field with no outlet for their energy. And few steeplechasers were more eager than Kauto Star.

    In jump racing, the immortals radiate spirit and charisma. They attack a dangerous sport with relish. At the Nicholls yard, Kauto Star would always barge his way to the front at morning exercise. He was the leader of the breed. This enthusiasm stretched all the way from his debut for Nicholls at Newbury in December, 2004, to his valediction at Cheltenham last March. Falls sufficiently heavy to kill a less lucky animal were no deterrent as he hauled himself from the ground to fight another day.

    His record lifts him above another darling of the winter crowds, Desert Orchid, who was comparably audacious and proud in his style of running. The respected Timeform organisation rate Kauto Star the best since Ireland’s only four-legged saint.

    Their jumps handicapper, Phil Turner, said: “Although we’re still confident Arkle was the greatest horse in National Hunt history, the fact we rate Kauto Star as the best since his era should be viewed as a huge compliment when one considers some of the names who’d previously vied for that title.

    “Kauto Star earned a Timeform rating of 191 at his peak, which is the highest figure since our Chasers & Hurdlers series began in 1975-76. In addition, very few during that period could match Kauto Star in terms of consistency, versatility or longevity. He should rightly be viewed as a giant of the sport.”

    With two Gold Cups and five King George VI Chases, he amassed 16 Grade One wins. “And they were all Chases,” pointed out his owner, Clive Smith.

    “They’re not penalty kicks.” His zenith was 2009, when he became the first horse to regain the Gold Cup, beating his next-door neighbour, Denman, by 13 lengths, before skating home by 36 lengths at Kempton Park on Boxing Day.

    Some celestial scriptwriting hand gave Kauto Star a rival in the very next box along at Ditcheat in Somerset. Denman was the brooding throwback to a time when the top steeplechasers were monsters, thundering across the shires. Kauto Star was more Hollywood. With his white baize and French Flat-racerly looks, he would have presented a rival to Frankel in the covering sheds had a career in National Hunt not required a delicate piece of surgery.

    Kauto Star won 23 of his 41 races and attracted a vast and sentimental following. Like Desert Orchid, be became public property. Behind this growing love was an acknowledgement that L’Extraterrestrial, as he was known in France, was a sometimes flawed genius who would switch off by the time he reached the final fence and try to walk straight through it.

    When he jumped well he was imperious. When he missed one out, as in the 2006 Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham, the obituarists would sense a commission coming on.

    A fall at home preceded his lifeless run at Cheltenham last time out. Even he could not go on bouncing back up forever. “One minute he was there, the next minute he wasn’t,” Smith said after that race. The great pageant beneath Cleeve Hill was swallowing up its biggest modern star and sending him back to the stables safe: a blessing that eluded Best Mate and Dawn Run, two other Cheltenham legends, killed in action.

    “We have to protect him from himself,” was a nice line from Nicholls. The implication was: Kauto Star would love to carry on, but we can’t let him.

    Frankel left the stage because he had destroyed his contemporaries and had nothing left to prove. The perfection of his record was beautifully intact.

    Kauto Star, on the other hand, was taken out of harm’s way. He, too, had no need to give any more than he already had in a sport much tougher than the one in which Frankel excelled.

    “People have said to me that he’s changed their lives, just watching him,” Smith has said. To be inspired by a brilliant horse is a pleasure far greater than winning a few quid at a bookie’s window.

    So the double leaving-do that racing dreaded is now here. New candidates are invited to apply for the posts of best since Arkle (National Hunt) and best of all time (Flat). How fortunate we have been.

  4. #4
    I doubt we will ever see a horse as good as Kauto Star
    It cannot have come as any great shock to anyone who follows racing when Kauto Star, the best chaser that I have seen, was retired on Wednesday with his 13th birthday just two months away.
    His speciality was the comeback, but this was one too far.

    I had the honour of riding him in the 2010 King George V Chase at Kempton and, before you say it, that was the only time he got beat in the six King Georges he contested and I am not judging him on that one run, it would be wrong.

    He was beaten 21 lengths that day by Long Run. He was beaten again by Long Run in the Gold Cup the following March and after he had been pulled up at Punchestown at the end of that season, you seriously wondered if we would ever see him again but, in a way, the best was yet to come.

    He was undoubtedly under-par that day I rode him. The race was postponed because of bad weather on Boxing Day and was run in mid-January, which was normally down time for him. But, perhaps more significantly in my mind, he had also had a very hard fall in Imperial Commander’s Gold Cup the previous spring, which, I believe, took him a long time to get over.

    Until he came along many people considered Best Mate to be the top chaser of modern times. His three Gold Cup victories for Henrietta Knight were remarkable, but to run in six Cheltenham Gold Cups, win two of them and regain the title, to win five King Georges, four Betfair Chases and two Tingle Creeks made Kauto Star the more versatile chaser. Before I started riding in races Desert Orchid was the star performer everyone loved and wanted to see, but last Boxing Day Kauto Star even eclipsed what Dessie had achieved.

    Kauto Star was brilliantly handled by Paul Nicholls and brilliantly ridden by Ruby Walsh. Over the years they got to know what was best for him and he became a proper champion in that he won over all trips, on any ground and came back successfully from several really heavy falls.

    However much ability he had it was more than matched by toughness and courage, which he proved, not only recovering from horrendous falls in the Champion Chase and Gold Cup, but the one he had in a novice chase at Exeter. It was the least innocuous of them all, or so it appeared at the time, but he chipped a knee when he came down and yet he still went on to be such a great horse.

    Occasionally he lacked a little concentration during a race. When he appeared to have a race won, he would routinely walk through the last fence, which made him great, exciting viewing. I remember that the big debate before his first Gold Cup was whether or not he would actually jump round.

    He first came to my attention, however, on his first start in Britain just after Christmas in 2004.

    I was riding Foreman, who had won the previous year’s Irish Champion Hurdle and went on to win a Grade One novice chase. I truly thought he was a good thing, but Kauto Star beat us by eight lengths on the bridle and I struggled to believe that such a crushing defeat was possible.

    Everyone who works in racing, whatever the capacity, wants to be associated with a champion like he was. Like Frankel on the Flat they do not come along often and it is unlikely the owner, trainer or jockey will have another like him. To run in six Gold Cups is a remarkable record in itself. I would be surprised if I ever see another horse as genuine, as willing or as tough with his ability. He has earned his retirement.

  5. #5
    You have to greet today’s news that Kauto Star has been retired with a sigh of relief that is greater and deeper and louder than the sigh of regret that you heaved because of the fact that you won’t see him race again.

    The last thing you wanted to see was Kauto Star, 12-year-old rising 13-year-old Kauto Star, finish fourth in the Betfair Chase and pulling up in the King George before eventually and sorrowfully bowing out, a wizened warrior who fought on for too long. Or worse. And you feared that that might happen when he wasn’t retired after being pulled up in the Gold Cup last March, when you read that he was back with Paul Nicholls, back in training. Now he is retired, now he can go out on a bed of laurels, not on his shield.

    Most things that could have been written about Kauto Star have been written at this stage, but some of the qualities and achievements that made him unique as a steeplechaser are worth remembering today. He is the only horse ever to win five King Georges, and the only horse ever to win four in a row. When he won his fifth King George last December, he became just the third horse aged older than 10 to win the race since the inaugural running in 1937. He was the king of Kempton. He was the King George.

    Kauto Star was just the second horse since L’Escargot in 1971 to win two Cheltenham Gold Cups, and he is the only horse ever to win the Gold Cup, then lose it, then win it back again.

    He basked in an official rating of 193 in his pomp. His Timeform rating of 191 is the joint-third highest rating that the trusted Halifax firm have ever awarded to a steeplechaser, third behind only that near-legendary pair Arkle and Flyingbolt, level with Mill House and higher than everything else – Desert Orchid, Burrough Hill Lad, Moscow Flyer, Captain Christy, Best Mate, and the rest.

    He won 19 of his 31 chases, 16 of them at Grade 1 level, and he never finished outside the first three in a chase when he completed. That includes one in which he fell and got up again.

    He had the speed to win two Tingle Creek Chases over two miles, he had the combination of pace and stamina that was required to make the three-mile King George VI Chase his own, and he had the courage and guts to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup over an extended three and a quarter miles. Twice. Good ground, soft ground, fast ground, he didn’t seem to mind. Right-handed tracks, left-handed tracks, stiff fences, easy fences, flat courses, undulating courses, sharp tracks, galloping tracks, he was top class on them all.

    And now he heads off over the hills. Long and happy retirement Kauto. Thanks for all.

  6. #6
    Strange one ...

    Kauto Star appears to have unexpectedly left the care of trainer Paul Nicholls as he prepares to embark on a possible dressage career.

    Owner Clive Smith announced on Monday that the 12-year-old would be joining European bronze medalist eventing rider Laura Collett as he explores avenues to keep his now-retired superstar chaser active in retirement.

    Collett, 22, is due to be assisted by Yogi Breisner, the long-time Great Britain manager and coach, who has overseen medal success at Olympic, World and European level.

    The five-times King George VI Chase hero and winner of the Betfair Chase four times was officially retired in October and Breisner will assess his suitability for the discipline in the coming weeks. However, it was not thought that Kauto Star would leave Nicholls before Boxing Day, when he is due to lead the runners in the parade for the King George.

    Collett tweeted: "I feel very privileged and extremely honoured to have been asked to ride Kauto Star. I will be working closely with Yogi to give Kauto Star the best chance of a second career in dressage."

    Some members of the Ditcheat team have expressed their sadness at the horse's departure.

    Donna Blake, travelling head girl for Nicholls, tweeted: "Farewell to our dear Kauto Star, sad day that he is leaving those who genuinely care and respect him. Undeserved."

    The champion trainer later wished his former stable star well for the future.

    He tweeted: "Just to confirm we have delivered KS to his new home. I'm sure he will have the best of everything. Good luck my friend, horse of a lifetime."

  7. #7
    Senior Member Statto's Avatar
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    Apr 2012
    There is more ...Hotspur

    “It has been no secret that Kauto’s future has been a great source of debate since we announced his retirement.
    “And, to be brutally honest, this morning I felt the time had finally come for me to take control of the situation, and to start making the decisions.
    “Now, I am fully aware that Kauto is Clive’s horse and he can do as he wishes, even though I would personally have loved Clifford [Baker] to have looked after him for the rest of his years.
    “But what upset me and my team here is when Clive announced that he had spoken to experts about the horse’s future – but failed to consult and listen properly to the team that had looked after him here for the past nine years. That really upset us.
    “So we had a team meeting here this morning. And after listening to everybody involved I rang up Clive, said I don’t want to fall out, but we think it is in the best interests of everybody concerned to take Kauto to Yogi Breisner’s this afternoon so that he could start his new career in the dressage field as soon as possible.
    “Which we did with the saddest of hearts. But I like to think with a lot of dignity, too. And, yes, there were plenty of tears too. He was a member of the family here at Ditcheat, and we will all miss him so much.
    “I would just to like say that it was a privilege for us here at Ditcheat to train the horse.”
    Kauto Star will be assessed by Laura Collett, a European bronze medallist and aspiring Olympian, in eventing, and Britain coach Yogi Breisner in the coming weeks regarding his suitability in dressage. Considering him for the 2016 Olympics is not even in the equation, but there is no reason he couldn’t enjoy himself at a much lower level.
    Collett, 22, said: “I feel very privileged and extremely honoured to have been asked to ride Kauto Star. I will be working closely with Yogi to give Kauto Star the best chance of a second career in dressage.”
    Breisner said: “I have been approached by a group responsible for retraining racehorses and the owner to make an assessment of Kauto Star. It usually takes one or two weeks to complete an assessment. The important thing is to give him the time and attention he deserves after all he has done in racing”.
    Smith had long resented Nicholls keeping Kauto Star at Ditcheat after the horse’s retirement, especially when he learned that the trainer had been charging racing tourists. But sources close to Nicholls said all proceeds had gone to charity, including the Air Ambulance, which was one of the trainer’s preferred charities.

  8. #8
    Nicholls was right.

  9. #9
    good kauto thread on not606

    best day ?

    Last edited by Old Vic; 07-09-2015 at 05:08 PM.

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