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Greatest Racehorses: Kauto Star


Timeform profile Kauto Star, who achieved a rating of 191.

Pedigree Details

Sire: Village Star

Dam: Kauto Relka

Dam's Sire: Port Etienne

Breeder: Mme Henri Aubert

Foaled: 19th March 2000

Race Record & Factfile

Races: 41

Wins: 23

Owner: Clive Smith

Trainer: Paul Nicholls


Kauto Star was originally trained in France by Serge Foucher, successful in four of his nine starts over hurdles. Purchased by bloodstock agent Anthony Bromley for €400,000 to be trained in Britain by Paul Nicholls, he raced in the colours of Clive Smith who had already tasted Cheltenham Festival success with Royal Auclair. Smith would also enjoy notable success with dual Champion Chase winner Master Minded, however it was Kauto Star who would prove to be his most successful purchase. A winner of 16 Grade 1s over fences, Kauto Star was a constant record-breaker, the only horse to ever regain the Gold Cup, win five King George VI Chases, four Betfair Chases and the Stayers’ Triple Crown. Recognisable by his big white blaze, Kauto Star’s total career earnings – including the £1 million bonus for winning the Chase Triple Crown and £400,000 for topping the BHA order of merit in the 2006/2007 season – came to £3,775,883, an astounding amount for a National Hunt horse. He is also the fourth highest-rated chaser in the history of Timeform behind only Arkle, Flyingbolt and Sprinter Sacre.

2004/2005 Season

Kauto Star raced twice in his first season in Britain. Sent off a 2/1 joint favourite along with future Grade 1 scorer Foreman in a novice chase at Newbury, Kauto Star, ridden by Ruby Walsh, made a most impressive start over fences, jumping well in the main before drawing nine lengths clear, looking a most exciting prospect. A month later at Exeter he was 13 lengths clear in a three-runner novice when coming down at the second-last. Walsh, however, decided to remount, albeit with no irons, and he only just failed to get back up by a short head. Unfortunately, Kauto Star sustained a fracture and would miss the remainder of the season. 

2005/2006 Season

Kauto Star raced three times in his first season in open company, a campaign in which he would register his first victory at the top level. His reappearance came in the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter – a race remembered sadly for the tragic demise of three-time Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Best Mate – and he ran a race full of promise, finishing a four-length second to Monkerhostin, briefly holding a share of the lead three out until the lack of a recent outing told at the second-last. His first foray into Grade 1 company followed in the Tingle Creek at Sandown. Kauto Star, who was ridden by Mick Fitzgerald, established himself as the leading British-trained two-mile chaser in the absence of Well Chief and Azertyuiop, winning by a length and a half but being value for more after idling on the run-in. He was sent off 2/1 favourite in the Champion Chase, on his only other outing of the season, but he got no further than the third, taking a heavy fall at that obstacle and bringing down a rival.

Major races won

2006/2007 Season

Kauto Star would go unbeaten in the 2006/2007 season, scoring over distances ranging from two miles to the Gold Cup trip of three and a quarter miles, his performances marking him down as an equine superstar. He started out in the Grade 2 Old Roan Chase at Aintree, where he effortlessly drew clear from three out and gave Armaturk 9 lb and a 21-length beating. It was a performance that was not only a clear career-best effort at the time, it also suggested he would have no problem with three miles. He confirmed that was the case in the Betfair Chase at Haydock, never putting a foot wrong and sealing things in a matter of strides on the approach to the last, coasting 17 lengths clear of Beef or Salmon. Surprisingly, only two weeks later Kauto Star was dropped back to two miles in the Tingle Creek at Sandown, where he produced an even better effort than he had the previous year to beat Arkle winner Voy Pour Ustedes by seven lengths.

Kauto Star completed a hat-trick at the top level in the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day, producing one of the best performances in the race for a decade. He was quickening clear when making a bad mistake at the last and so was value for more than the eight-length margin over Exotic Dancer, who would never beat Kauto Star when they both completed. He then scraped home by a neck conceding 10 lb to L’ami in the Aon Chase at Newbury in February, setting him up for a tilt at the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Having already won the Betfair Chase and King George, Kauto Star would secure connections a £1 million bonus if successful in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. He was sent off the 5/4 favourite and capped a spectacular season by beating Exotic Dancer by two and a half lengths, despite again being less-than-fluent at the last.

Major races won

2007/2008 Season

Connections again elected to send Kauto Star to Aintree to make his reappearance in the Old Roan Chase. However, the concession of weight and race fitness proved against him and Monet’s Garden, in receipt of a stone, prevailed by a length and a half. Kauto Star quickly got back to winning ways, though, landing a second Betfair Chase (ridden by Sam Thomas on this occasion), a second King George and the Ascot Chase, setting him up for a defence of his Gold Cup crown against stablemate Denman, who was unbeaten over fences and also compiling a stellar CV.

Unfortunately, Kauto Star suffered an off-day, looking beaten from the fourth-last and only managing to finish a laboured runner-up, seven lengths behind Denman, who had galloped his rivals into submission. Neptune Collonges, who would go on to win the Grand National four years later, was third, giving Nicholls a 1-2-3.

Kauto Star headed to Aintree three weeks later but, possibly feeling the effects of a gruelling race, was beaten a nose by Our Vic on his final start that season.

Major races won

2008/2009 Season

A first trip to Ireland for the Champion Chase at Down Royal was the chosen comeback for Kauto Star, who didn’t need to be at his best to cruise 11 lengths clear of a weak field. Kauto Star wasn’t at his best in the Betfair Chase, but he still held every chance at the last, upsides the leader at the time, when slithering on landing after the obstacle and unseating Sam Thomas.

Despite that disappointment, Kauto Star remained the one to beat in the King George, and he showed he retained all his outstanding ability by completing a hat-trick in the race, beating Albertas Run by eight lengths. Put away after Kempton for the Gold Cup, Kauto Star, who was sent off the 7/4 favourite, produced one of the very best performances in the blue riband, arguably the best since Arkle as he became the only horse in the race’s history of the race to regain his title. He was always travelling and jumping well, and he quickened clear entering the straight to beat Denman by 13 lengths, proving he was the outstanding chaser of his generation.

Major races won

2009/2010 Season

Making his reappearance in the Betfair Chase, Kauto Star engaged in a titanic tussle up the Haydock straight with the previous season’s Ryanair Chase winner Imperial Commander, just snatching a third success in the race on the nod. It was Kempton on Boxing Day that would be the highlight of the season for Kauto Star who, able to cope with the searching gallop set by Ollie Magern and Nacarat, sauntered a distance clear in the straight, equalling Desert Orchid’s record of four wins in the race. His 36-length win earned him a rating of 191, which at the time was the third highest in Timeform’s history.

Kauto Star was strongly fancied to win a third Gold Cup on the back of such a dominant success, sent off the 11/8-on favourite, but he was never travelling well following a bad mistake at the eighth and was firmly under pressure, looking beaten, when taking a heavy fall the fourth-last, leaving old foes Imperial Commander and Denman to fight out the finish.

Races won

2010/2011 Season

None the worse for his fall in the Gold Cup, Kauto Star made a pleasing return to action when landing a second Champion Chase from multiple Grade 1 winner Sizing Europe. The King George was up next but took place three weeks later than usual after the Boxing Day meeting had been cancelled due to frost. AP McCoy was aboard, deputising for Ruby Walsh who was recovering from a broken leg, and Kauto Star was sent off the 7/4-on favourite to record a historic fifth win. However, Kauto Star looked likely to finish no better than second when making a bad mistake three out, eventually finishing 19 lengths third to Long Run, who was five years his junior. With doubts around how much ability he retained, Kauto Star was sent off at 5/1 in the Cheltenham Gold Cup – it was the first time he had not been favourite since the 2005 Haldon Gold Cup – but he played his part in an epic contest, jumping the second-last in unison with Denman and Long Run, before younger legs told and Long Run scooted up the hill to prevail. Kauto Star finished a creditable third, showing that he was still competitive at the highest level.

Kauto Star was then sent to Punchestown but he was pulled up for the first time in his career after dropping to the rear five out, sparking talk of retirement. However, he would be back next season, which would be unforgettable.

Races won

2011/2012 Season

There is an endless list of superlatives to describe Kauto Star’s final season during which, days shy of his 12th birthday, he made history by winning an unprecedented fifth King George, raising the roof at Kempton. However, he would put in a crowd-pleasing performance at Haydock first. Sent off at 6/1 for the Betfair Chase, which he was bidding to win for a fourth time, Kauto Star was sent straight into the lead by Walsh, bounding along with plenty of zest. He jumped impeccably and was still on the bridle at the second-last, then found enough under pressure to repel Long Run by eight lengths, his victory leading to joyous celebrations in the crowd. He rolled back the years again at Kempton on Boxing Day, gaining a scarcely believable fifth win in the King George, jumping faultlessly and proving value for more than the winning margin of a length and a half, putting in a performance good enough to have won the majority of renewals in the past 20 years. Sadly, there was to be no fairy-tale ending in the Gold Cup as Kauto Star, who had suffered a fall while schooling in the weeks leading up to the race, was pulled up after the ninth to the applause of the Prestbury Park crowd. The Timeform report perfectly summing up his career.  It reads: “He deserves to be long remembered for his exploits as a chaser, a superb jumper at his best, with a level of ability unsurpassed in the last 45 years, his career notable for its longevity as well as unprecedented success, his 16 Grade 1 victories including the King George five times and this race twice.”

Races won

Also read about:

212 Arkle
210 Flyingbolt
192p Sprinter Sacre
191 Mill House
187 Desert Orchid
186 Dunkirk
184 Burrough Hill LadMoscow FlyerLong Run
183 Don CossackMaster Oats
182 AzertyuiopBest MateCaptain ChristyDouvanCarvill's HillKicking KingSee More BusinessWell Chief




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Free Daily Race Pass (Result)


Tuesday 17 May
Tom Marquand silk Tom Marquand
Ed Walker
Daniel Muscutt silk Daniel Muscutt
James Ferguson
Kevin Stott silk Kevin Stott
Kevin Ryan
Go to full race


20:38 HEXHAM

1st Dillan Hurst silk 8. LES'S LEGACY 11/43.75f
2nd Richie McLernon silk 1. LORD CAPRIO (IRE) 20/121
3rd Tom Midgley silk 6. BESTIARIUS (IRE) 11/26.5
J: Dillan Hurst (7)  
11 ran. NRs: 13  15  2  9 


1st William James Lee silk 1. BEAMISH (FR) 4/15
2nd Declan McDonogh silk 2 4. EBENDI (IRE) 11/112
3rd G. F. Carroll silk 6. MY MATE MOZZIE (IRE) 6/42.5f
8 ran. NRs: 3 


1st Mr D. O'Connor silk 1. DOWNTOWN GETAWAY (IRE) 4/91.44f
2nd Mr Rupert Stearn silk 5 3. JUST CAUSE (IRE) 5/23.5
T: Mickey Bowen  
5 ran. NRs: 6 

20:10 SLIGO

1st S. D. Torrens silk 4. THE SHUNTER (IRE) 5/61.83f
2nd J. Coen silk 7. BEAUTIFUL CHAOS (IRE) 13/27.5
3rd K. J. Manning silk 6 1. ADVANTAGE POINT (IRE) 12/113
J: S. D. Torrens (3)  
9 ran. NRs: 6 

20:03 HEXHAM

1st Ryan Mania silk 3. THE ELECTRICIAN (IRE) 10/111
2nd Stephen Mulqueen silk 6. STOWAWAY JOHN (IRE) 20/121
J: Ryan Mania  
6 ran. NRs: 2 


1st M. P. Sheehy silk 1. MONTY'S WAY (IRE) 10/111
2nd G. F. Carroll silk 2 6. AWAY TO SEA (FR) 13/27.5
3rd Shane Foley silk 9. DERRINLAUR (IRE) 9/25.5
J: M. P. Sheehy (3)  
11 ran. NRs: 7 


1st Lilly Pinchin silk 5. SIROBBIE (IRE) 5/23.5f
2nd Sam Twiston-Davies silk 3. GALILEO SILVER (IRE) 6/17
J: Lilly Pinchin (5)  
All 7 ran.

19:40 SLIGO

1st D. B. McMonagle silk 3. ENTROPY (IRE) 2/51.4f
2nd R. P. Cleary silk 4. GRANVILLE STREET (IRE) 15/28.5
3rd K. J. Manning silk 1. DANCILA (IRE) 15/28.5
10 ran. NRs: 11 

19:33 HEXHAM

1st Danny McMenamin silk 7. FRIGHTENED RABBIT (USA) 10/111
2nd Page Fuller silk 3 6. BUCKO'S BOY 9/43.25f
T: Dianne Sayer  
All 7 ran.
Go to Horse Racing Results