Kauto Star has been confirmed a definite runner in this year’s King George VI Chase.
Champion trainer Paul Nicholls and owner Clive Smith made the announced at the annual King George lunch this afternoon.
Amy Starkey, Kempton Park’s managing director, said: “This is brilliant news. We are delighted for all Kauto’s fans who will be at Kempton Park on Boxing Day. It will be an incredible occasion when Kauto takes on the current champion Long Run. It’s the ‘must see’ horse race of the season.”
The news means that owner Clive Smith will now have two runners,with Master Minded also a starter on 26th December.
Nicholls said: “I’ve had a chat with Clive and we’re going to run both Kauto and Master Minded.
“Ruby’s (Walsh) not going to get off Kauto, and Daryl (Jacob) rode Master Minded the other day and will ride him again.”
Nicholls added on his exclusive Betfair column at www.betfair.com/paulnicholls: “I spoke to Clive last night and we have decided to let both Kauto Star and Master Minded take their chance in the King George at Kempton on Boxing Day – although that is obviously dependent on both horses being fit and well and continuing to please me in the lead up to the race.
“We saw with Tataniano and Denman recently how the smallest of injuries can end seasons and careers, and that brought into sharp focus that sometimes you have to seize the moment with racehorses.
“And Clive and I have always campaigned Kauto sportingly and adventurously, none more so than when he won the Old Roan, the Betfair Chase, the Tingle Creek and the King George in just over two months in 2006.
“Compared to that, Kauto has had it very easy this season! So the plan is to try for a fifth King George victory.”