Kauto Star will continue to Shine
In 2004, bloodstock agent, Anthony Bromley, was standing in France looking at a horse named Kauto Star. He was determined to purchase the horse for his client, Clive Smith, and paid over 400 000 Euros on Smith’s behalf. It would turn out to be the purchase of the century, as Kauto Star stepped out onto the racecourse and started to cement his place in National Hunt history. Numbered amongst some of the greatest names in National Hunt racing, Kauto Star will long be remembered for his fighting spirit and his determination to give his best at all times. But for the time being, he will carry on winning hearts, support and admiration.
Kauto Star, pronounced Kaw-to Star, was born on 19 March 2000, in France. Sired by Village Star and foaled by Kauto Relka, this magnificent bay was destined for greatness. His current trainer, Paul Nicholls, saw video footage of him and called in the assistance of Bromley, to secure the purchase. Kauto Star started his racing career with much potential in France, and made his debut in England at the Novice Chase (Newbury), which he won. On his second appearance at Exeter, he had a very unfortunate fall. His jockey, Ruby Walsh, got back on and together they charged forward again, only missing out on the win by two strides, but it showed that he had the heart and courage to do great things.
During the 2005 / 2006 season, Kauto Star came back strongly, only to once again take a fall at the Cheltenham Festival. And as the 2006 / 2007 racing season got into full swing, Kauto Star proved his worth by defeating big names in hunt horse racing such as Beef or Salmon and Armaturk. Supporters and fans of Kauto Star started to nickname him ‘White Knuckle Ride’, as he had the uncanny ability to have his supporters grinding their teeth, clenching their fists and sitting at the edges of their seats at each race, as he seemed to have fence blunders at the worst possible times. Some of these anguishing moments took place at racing events such as the King George VI Chase, where he went on to beat Exotic Dancer and at the Cheltenham Gold Cup, where his blunder saw him battle to his last stride to eventually take the win away from L’ami.
Kauto Star had a magnificent season in 2007, although supporters held onto their seats at every race. His straight winning season came to a head again at the Cheltenham Gold Cup, where he managed to push Exotic Dancer into second place and carve his name into horse racing history. The 2008 Cheltenham Festival was a bitter sweet moment for trainer Paul Nicolls, as his two greatest horses, Kauto Star and Denman, came head to head, with Denman taking home the win. In the weeks leading up to the race, spectators and loyal supporters began to notice that their champion was not performing in his usual fashion and it was later discovered that Kauto Star had a hoof infection. Although it was said that a few days rest would have him ready for the Cheltenham Festival, the general opinion in the crowd, was that his loss to Denman was due to him not feeling confident because of his injury.
Neither Clive Smith, Paul Nicolls, nor Ruby Walsh are disappointed in Kauto Star, with all three men giving him praise for everything he has already accomplished and looking towards Aintree. Smith and Nicolls are said to be discussing the next racing event for Kauto Star, and believe that once he feels completely healed and comfortable, he will once again shine. Kauto Star knows how to make a comeback and when he is ready, his fans will be waiting to welcome him into the winners circle.