Kauto Star pleased connections ahead of the Guinness Gold Cup at the Punchestown Festival with an exciting piece of work at the weekend.
The former Cheltenham Gold Cup and King George winner will be making his debut at the big Irish festival, although he has won on his two trips to Ulster for the JNwine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal in 2008 and 2010.
“He worked great on Saturday, really well. It’s the obvious race to run him in so we’re looking forward to that,” said trainer Paul Nicholls.
Clive Smith’s charge, who finished third in last month’s Gold Cup, will lead a small but select team from the Nicholls stable for the five-day festival at the County Kildare venue early next month.
“I entered Ghizao (in the Ryanair Novice Chase) but we’re going to leave him off now and wait until next season. He’s had a good season,” Nicholls said.
“Tataniano runs this weekend (in the bet365.com Celebration Chase at Sandown). He’s fresh and well and if he runs well on Saturday he’ll go there as well (in the Boylesports.com Champion Chase). I’ve got one other entry, Empire Levant (in the AES Champion 4YO Hurdle), and that’s about it really. A lot of them have been on the go, it’s the back end of the season. Kauto and Tataniano haven’t had that many runs so that’s why we are going to run those. The rest of them want a holiday now”.