Denman vs Kauto Star
Ruby Walsh is a very successful Irish jockey, who has ridden some of the most talented horses of our time. And many punters were thrilled when this racing legend walked into the Main Street bookies, to answer questions and give out some tips. With Kauto Star having had a magnificent winning performance in the JNWine.com Champion Chase, one of the questions on everyone’s minds was; will Kauto Star be able to beat Denman in the coming Cheltenham Gold Cup? According to Ruby Walsh, the chances of seeing Denman and Kauto Star battle it out in March are quite good, if Denman’s health keeps improving.
Both Denman and Kauto Star are trained by Paul Nicholls, making these two magnificent horses stable mates. In Denman’s breathtaking career, he has won numerous major events including the Berkshire Novices’ Chase and Challow Novices’ Hurdle in 2006; the Royal & Sun Alliance Chase, Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup and Lexus Chase in 2007 and the Aon Chase and Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2008. Nicholls began to notice a change in Denman, and after sending him for tests, an irregular heartbeat was diagnosed, forcing Denman into rest and a noticeable absence from the horse racing circuit. His health does seem to be improving, and it is believed that he will be ready to defend his title at the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Kauto Star has gained a huge fan base over the years, and loyal supporters of this breathtaking horse racing legend believe that soft ground and a hoof infection that was nursed just before the Cheltenham Gold Cup, all played a role in his second place finish to Denman earlier this year, and firmly believe the he can get his title back. Looking at his most recent performances, Kauto Star seems to be back on form, and even Ruby Walsh believes it will be a historic clash between two racing greats. Some of Kauto Star’s victories include the King George VI Chase (2006 and 2007), Old Roan Chase (2006), Tingle Creek Trophy (2005 and 2006), Betfair Chase (2006 and 2007), Cheltenham Gold Cup (2007), Aon Chase (2007), Ascot Chase (2008) and the JN.Wine.com Champion Chase (2008).
Both horses are undeniably very talented, and being the trainer for Kauto Star and Denman, must be as rewarding as it is conflicting, for Paul Nicholls. With two horse racing powerhouses in his barn, it must be hard to watch them compete against each other. While supporters in Kauto Star’s corner believe that he will take back the Cheltenham Gold Cup, many believe that Denman was not only better on the day, but has what it takes to remain the champion. Everyone will be watching these horses very closely, until March 2009.