Four times winner of the King George VI Chase at Kempton , Kauto Star was sent off at odds of 4/7 to win the Grade One Chase for a record fifth time but could only finish third .
Paul Nicholls star performer was never travelling well in the race and made a bad mistake at the second last fence when already beaten . Nicholls was realisitic after the race about the eleven year old “He just looked like he had lost half a yard around here at the age of 11….if he is sound and well there is no reason why he can’t run in this year’s Gold Cup. Cheltenham will suit him better than Kempton does now, he’s just that bit slower.”
Bookmakers reacted by pushing the odds out on Kauto recording a third win in the Cheltenham Gold Cup to a top price of 12/1 with William Hill .
The King George VI was won in grand style by the Nicky Henderson trained Long Run given a terrific ride from amateur rider Sam Waley-Cohen . Six year old Long Run took up the running entering the home straight and always looked the winner eventually coming home with 12 lengths to spare .
Long Run had a big reputation prior to the start of this season and ran a great race to finish third in the Paddy Power Chase at Cheltenham in November .
The french bred Long Run will almost certainly go for the Cheltenham Gold Cup after this success with Henderson saying : “We’ve always said that around here would be a more favourable course for him than Cheltenham but looking at that, I think there’s a good chance we’ll be going there in March.”
William Hill offer 7/1 for Long Run to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup and that could look a big price when the Festival comes around .