Foaled in 2000 in France, Kauto Star, now an 8 year old gelding, achieved a record equaling three successive victories in the King George Chase at Kempton Park on Boxing Day 2008 and in so doing wrote himself into the record books as one of the very best race horses the world has ever seen. Owned by Clive Smith, who paid 400,000 Euros for him in 2004 - Smith also owns the top rated chaser in the country - Master Minded. Kauto Star is trained by champion trainer, Paul Nicholls who mapped out the career path for this wonder horse. Nicholls had prompted Smith to buy the horse after seeing him race in Auteil in France, quickly schooled him and placed him in his first race in England in a Novices Chase which he won with ease by nine lengths and in so doing proved that Nicholls' shrewd equine appraisals were up there with the best around.
Although losing on his second outing, Kauto Star should have won in a canter, but he fell at the second last fence when leading by 12 lengths. Apex Shed Haydock Amazingly jockey, Ruby Walsh managed to re-mount and although the winner had shot past him. Kauto Star proved his fighting qualities and chased the leader down only to lose by a short head. Kauto picked up an injury in the race and was not raced again until the following season
He started the 2005/6 season with a defeat at the hands of Monkerhostin but then went on to confirm his class when he won the Grade One Tingle Creek at Sandown. That victory put him in line for a crack at the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the 2006 Cheltenham Festival for which he went off as the favourite. Unfortunately he fell at the third and ended his season, but he bounced back incredibly well the following October.
The 2006/7 has been his best so far and a season which proved his versatility winning Grade ones over two miles and up to three. He started off by hosing up in the Old Roan Chase at Aintree, winning the Betfair Chase at Haydock Park and then winning his first King George Chase at Kempton. In between these 3 mile victories he also returned to 2 miles and won the Tingle creek for the second time. With so many Grade One victories behind him already, it was obvious that Kauto Star would be favourite to take the 2007 Cheltenham Gold and he duly obliged, after he had also won the Aon Chase at Newbury. The Gold Cup victory was the icing on the cake in a season where Kauto Star won everything he entered and proved that at that time he was pretty much invincible.
His winning ways continued in 2007/8 season. Although going down in the Old Roan he bounced back and won the Betfair Chase for a second time and he then went on to win his second King George.
Whilst Kauto Star was making racing headlines, his stable mate, Denman was making bigger ones. Denman, like Kauto the year before, was winning everything he entered and trainer Nicholls knew the two had to meet in the 2008 Gold Cup. It was a mouth watering prospect, but stable jockey, Ruby Walsh, probably gave the broadest hint of he thought was the best of the two when elected to ride Kauto.
We all know that it was a mistake as Denman ran the field ragged and won comfortably from a game Kauto Star and their other stable mate Neptune Collonges.
Kauto has come back again this season to claim his third King George and his obvious target is to try to regain the Gold Cup. He has an excellent chance of doing so too with Denman injured and unraced so far this season. Without Denman in the field, it surely is tailor made for Kauto Star to regain his crown and looks a good bet to do just that.