King Kauto primed for Kempton
Paul Nicholls is looking forward to running Kauto Star in the William Hill King George VI Steeple Chase at Kempton Park on Boxing Day where a fourth consecutive victory would see the superstar nine-year-old make history.
Commenting earlier today at the Ice Bar on Heddon Street at the launch of William Hill Winter Festival he said: "We would love to be able to do the same as Desert Orchid and win four. Kauto's in great order and worked with Big Buck's yesterday morning. He has come on in leaps and bounds from Haydock. A run changes him and he is sharper and I couldn't be happier with him. I actually think Cheltenham suits him better but the ground at Kempton is always good and they go a good gallop. Ruby has been a real asset to this horse and you can leave it to him. He knows how to ride him now. We will find another race for What a Friend as there is not point in coming second or third or fourth to Kauto."
Owner, Clive Smith who was also present commented: "He is just fantastic and I admire him so much. Everyone seems to love him. I've seen many King Georges being local to Kempton including Desert Orchid and it's a dream that I am now about to watch Kauto Star go for his fourth consecutive win. Paul has an incredible team and always remains so focused. I am not that superstitious but I think about it all the time and will be thinking about Kempton for most of Christmas Day."
David Hood of William Hill commented: "There is huge anticipation that surrounds this race. ‘Dessie' stirred the emotions in every household and we are so lucky to be presented with a horse like Kauto Star who could usurp him."
David Elsworth trainer of the legendary four time King George winner, Desert Orchid was also present on the day and gave his thoughts on the prospect of Kauto Star going for a fourth win on the trot. "I still feel part of this game and Jump racing is going through an incredible high at the moment. Best of luck to Paul Nicholls come Boxing Day, it helps when you have other horses to be thinking of besides just one but Kauto Star is incredibly special."
Amy Starkey, Managing Director of Kempton Park Racecourse commented: "The William Hill King George VI Chase promises to be an incredibly exciting race but we also have got huge amounts of entertainment over the course of the two day festival which promises to be fantastic. William Hill have been brilliant to work with in the lead up to the festival and Boxing Day is an incredibly special occasion."
Barney Clifford, Clerk of the Course at Kempton Park Racecourse: "We have made the decision to put frost covers on the ground as the forecast for the next 4-5 days is rather cold. There is a ray of sunshine though as temperatures are supposed to rise on Christmas Eve and we are very optimistic about racing."
William Hill currently price up the race as follows; 8-13 Kauto Star, 6/1 Imperial Commander 8/1 Madison Du Berlais, 14/1 Barbers Shop, Deep Purple, Nacarat, 20/1 Albertas Run, 33/1 In Compliance, Our Vic, Schindlers Hunt, What a Friend, 50/1 Tartak, 66/1 Master Medic, Racing Demon, Roll Along, 80/1 Ollie Magern, 200/1 Chief Dan George, 500/1 Sandymac (EW ¼ 1-2-3)
ONE lucky visitor to Kempton Park Racecourse's William Hill Winter Festival over the weekend of Boxing Day and Sunday, December 27 will win a brand new KIA Soul Shaker car. All those people who buy one of the racecourse's ‘Christmas Cracker' tickets, consisting of either Premier or Paddock admission, a racecard, a drink, £25 William Hill bet and a discounted return visit voucher will be in with a chance of winning a free KIA Soul Shaker car.. Tickets can be booked online at www.boxingdayraces.co.uk or by calling 0844 579 3008.