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Kauto Star Plummets to 10/1 for Cheltenham Gold Cup


After running a certifiable stinker in his attempt to make history, Kauto Star has now seen serious question marks emerge over his future as his inability to conquer what was a very beatable field in the King George VI Chase. The living legend of steeple chasing really looked to be showing a bit of age as he was shown up by Long Run in a race that he has dominated for so many years.

Defending Cheltenham Gold Cup champion Imperial Commander has consolidated his position as the antepost favourite for the de facto world title. Bookmakers have the pride of Nigel Twiston-Davies yard listed as low as 11/4 to secure his second Gold Cup on the bounce.

Long Run made a serious statement with his Kempton score and, though he has only managed third place finishes in his two attempts over Cheltenham, there are few out there who doubt his ability to outstay the competition over 3m2f. There were errors made in both of his Cheltenham efforts and he was genuinely looking greener than he did on January 15. He is firmly installed as second favourite to Imperial Commander with a price in the 6/1 neighborhood.

The Tank is scheduled for another kick at the Cheltenham can and Denman will be expected to put in a very good shift and could find himself well-backed with Kauto not inspiring as much confidence as he has in the past. Denman deserves everyone’s respect but the fact remains that the 11 year-old son of Presenting did not score a victory in the entirety of 2010. Denman is trading around 7/1.

There are a few more progressive contenders beginning to emerge with the likes of Pandorama, Midnight Chase, Punchestowns and even Sizing Europe all carrying plausible antepost listings. Sir Alex Ferguson’s inspiring chaser What A Friend is also being bandied about for a Gold Cup push during festival season.

If the Nicholls yard believes Kauto has a chance to win this one then punters can’t blame them for having a go. However it must be acknowledged that it appears a new era could be upon us in the Grade 1 chasing scene. 

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