Cheltenham Gold Cup, Friday 15:20
He is simply, one of the all-time greats – no matter what he achieves in this year’s Gold Cup as punters still gather round the Paul Nicholl’s trained horse as he goes for yet another Cheltenham Gold Cup victory. Currently long odds of 7/2 with Bet365, there are plenty of Cheltenham purists and fans of horse racing who would love to see this horse do it again for one last time at Prestbury Park.
If Kauto Star does achieve the unthinkable and land a third Gold Cup then there wouldn’t be a dry eye in the house. It would be front-page news.
The statistics are not on his side however, and there are plenty of them as well. No horse for 43 years has managed to win a Gold Cup at the grand-old-age of 12, including 13 of those being sent off than lower than 10/1 in the market.
Kauto fits the bill on all those levels, as such has been his form this season, he will probably go off second favourite in the market behind last year’s winner Long Run.
Additionally only four horses older than 10-years-old have actually placed in the Gold Cup from the last 38 to take their chance. The legendary chaser certainly has it all to do.
The race itself is being made a match-up between Kauto Star and Long, and has had the PR machine purring from all the major bookmakers. The two, both at the different stages of their careers, have locked horns twice this season since the Cheltenham Gold Cup last season where Long Run beat Kauto Star into third, and twice, rather amazingly, Paul Nicholls’s runner has stuffed Long Run.
His performances in both the Betfair Chase and the King George Chase VI, which made him the first horse in history to win seven Grade One races in successive seasons.
He now heads to the Gold Cup with the chance to become the first horse to regain the most prestigious race in National Hunt racing twice following his wins in 2007 and 2009.
The question is though – can he do the unthinkable and actually win?
The markets make him second favourite to do so, and if he can bowl out in front under Ruby Walsh then there may be nothing in the field good enough to beat him.