Kauto Star to have racecourse gallop

    Paul Nicholls has confirmed that Kauto Star will have a racecourse gallop ahead of bidding to regain his Gold Cup crown.
    He is set to join stablemate Denman, and 2010 winner Imperial Commander, as one of three champions in next month’s race.
    “I hope he might have a racecourse gallop beforehand,” said champion trainer Nicholls.
    Kauto Star was third to Long Run when aiming to win his fifth King George VI Chase win at Kempton in January.
    But his Somerset-based trainer Nicholls said: “We’re very happy with him and looking forward to running him.”
    He said the 2008 champion Denman, who has been runner-up in the past two renewals, was in fine form.
    “Denman is not getting any younger either but he worked very nicely with Big Buck’s yesterday and has had his breathing operation as we just felt he was fading at the end of his races,” said Nicholls on Monday.
    “He made no noise yesterday when he worked, he looks great in his coat and seems really fit and enthusiastic.”
    The trainer pointed out six-year-old Long Run and Hennessy Gold Cup winner Diamond Harry as younger rivals who could pose a threat to the previous winners.
    “It’s a really interesting, open contest,” said Nicholls.
    “You’ve got some nice young horses coming through and it’s unfortunate that we lost a nice one on Saturday (in Pride Of Dulcote).”
    “I’m talking Long Run and Diamond Harry as younger horses, then you’ve got the three older lads who have been there and done it.
    “It’s probably as open as we’ve seen for a long time but I still feel the older three of Imperial Commander, Denman and Kauto are the ones to beat.
    “All three love the track, they’re all great horses and if they can all get there, it’s going to be a great race.”

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