Kauto Star’s brilliant performance in the Betfair Chase on Saturday may force his connections into a rethink and target the horse at the King George at Kempton on St Stephens Day, according to owner Clive Smith.
Speaking in the wake of what was an amazing performance from the 11 year old, Smith admitted that the Christmas showpiece is a serious target for a horse that has won the race four times already.
“There was an original thought that maybe we should go for this race [Betfair Chase] and if he ran creditably we’d then go for the Gold Cup, but that’s four months away,” said Smith.
“It may still be the best way to get the very best out of him [is to go] for one more race [the Gold Cup] and whatever happens retire him afterwards. We haven’t decided on that.
“However, it seems a shame not to give him a chance in the King George. He’s won it four times, he almost deserves it. It’s his track, he runs it so well.
“He might have his best chance of winning the two major races of the year by going to the King George, and if he won it a fifth time it would bring the house down.”
Smith, who also saw his other star chaser Master Minded bounce back at Ascot on Saturday, also admitted that Kauto Star and Master Minded could both take on Long Run at Kempton. “Master Minded is in the picture. He’s running very well and is a younger horse, so it’s very difficult to work it all out.
“It wasn’t absolutely perfect ground for Master Minded at Ascot and if it was a bit softer at Kempton on Boxing Day that would suit him, and a right-handed track like Ascot suits him too.”