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Kauto Star and Ruby Set for First Racecourse Gallop Ahead of Gold Cup


Living-legend Kauto Star will be getting a slightly different pre-Gold Cup training regiment this year if the latest clues from top conditioner Paul Nicholls are to be believed. Speaking to the BBC from his Ditcheat Stables, Nicholls declared that a racecourse gallop before the penultimate steeplechase of the season was in the cards for the 11 year-old multi-millionaire.

The move represents a sharp deviation from previous preps for the talented French jumper as Kauto Star has never been given a racecourse gallop prior to a Gold Cup run. Nicholls reiterated that Kauto has recovered from a brief illness that many observers believe undid his chances when he ran in the King George VI Chase.

The move could be a double benefit as Ruby Walsh is expected to return to the gallops this week and he’s confident that a return to race-riding is days, not weeks, away. The chance to refamiliarize Walsh and Kauto during a gallop over the Cheltenham course will likely do him plenty of good – especially since his 2010 effort in the Gold Cup was undone by a series of bad mistakes.

Kauto Star is reportedly in great nick and Nicholls declared, “he looks the part in his coat and is no back number, but he’s a year older and might just benefit from a racecourse gallop.”

Kauto Star is considered to be a fourth favourite for the Gold Cup with a price floating as high as 8/1. Last year’s victor Imperial Commander is listed at 11/4 while Long Run, who vanquished Kauto in the King George, is trading around 5/1. Kauto’s stablemate Denman is just a step ahead at a 7/1 price tag. 

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