Kauto Star reclaimed his crown as the best 3m chaser in training, when he overturned King George and Gold Cup holder Long Run, in this afternoon’s Betfair Chase.
While many racing fans had dared to dream that there might be one last kick in the former champion, few expected the performance that the Clive Smith owned 11-y-o produced at Haydock this afternoon. Always racing in the front rank under Ruby Walsh, Kauto was sent on early and made the running for much of the Grade One contest.
His jumping was much better than his younger rivals and he had everything in trouble going to the second last. From there on it was guts and bravery that saw the old horse home, as he dug deep to fend off Long Run and Diamond Harry.
Trainer Paul Nicholls said: “That was the best ever performance from him. To do that, and beat a Gold Cup winner, at the age of 11 was just fantastic.
“We left no stone unturned bringing him into this race. This was his Gold Cup today!”
Walsh added: “He’s an amazing horse and a privilege to ride. I was hoping that there was one more big day in him.”