Cheltenham Festival 2016
Published: 09:16 27/12/2011
Racing history was made at Kempton Park on Boxing Day when National Hunt Racing’s most celebrated horse – Kauto Star - took an unprecedented fifth victory in the famous Christmas spectacle – the William Hill King George VI Chase.
The 11-year-old won four renewals of the Grade One contest in consecutive years from 2006-2009 but could only manage third in last season's race behind Long Run. However having beaten Long Run in the Betfair Chase in November , Kauto Star was a very well backed 3/1 chance at the off yesterday and never looked like letting his supporters down.
The winning distance was only a length-and-a-quarter this time as Long Run stayed on at the business end but he didn't have enough in the tank to deny Kauto Star another fantastic win.
Under regular pilot Ruby Walsh, the white-faced chaser made it a foot-perfect performance and had his rivals under pressure from a long way out.
Afterwards trainer Paul Nicholls said "He's just awesome and I knew we had him in serious order." and looking forward to the Cheltenham Festival , Nicholls added "If he gets to Cheltenham in that form he'll be the one to beat (in the Gold Cup)."
Jockey Ruby Walsh was understandably ecstatic and said "This is a fairytale. He's a wonderful horse and it's a credit to the people who work with him every day.You can say what you want about the best steeplechasers of all time, but he's outlasted them all."
Kauto Star has now beaten Long Run in his last two races but Nicky Henderson's horse remains favourite for the Cheltenham Gold Cup and is best odds with William Hill at 3/1. Kauto Star now surely the nations favourite horse is available at 5/1 with Victor Chandler , Stan James and Skybet.
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