kauto on course for haydock
Published 15/09/2011 | 05:00
Kauto Star remains firmly on course for what will be a pivotal racecourse appearance in the Betfair Chase at Haydock on November 19.
The four-time King George winner and dual Cheltenham Gold Cup hero will bid for his fourth win in the Merseyside Grade One, and aim to show he is no back-number after a lifeless display at Punchestown in May.
The 11-year-old will renew rivalries with last season's King George and Gold Cup star Long Run, and Paul Nicholls admits Kauto Star's performance will tell connections whether or not retirement beckons.
"I'm delighted to report that Kauto Star has been back in training for a few weeks now and he is in great order," the trainer said.
"He absolutely loves being in training and getting all the attention.
"All being well between now and the end of November he will head to Haydock for the Betfair Chase for a clash with his Cheltenham conqueror Long Run. The run at Haydock should tell us all we need to know about his future and we can make any decisions after that."
Meanwhile, Jukebox Jury is to be aimed at the Emirates Melbourne Cup after his rousing dead-heat with Duncan in the Irish Field St Leger.
Connections of the Alan Spence-owned grey have decided to go for Australia's biggest race after the five-year-old was allotted 57kg (9st).
Jukebox Jury was already certain to go globetrotting, with races such as the Canadian International, Japan Cup and Hong Kong Vase under consideration.
After his weekend exploits, the Mark Johnston-trained horse will bid to become the first British-trained winner of the two-mile handicap at Flemington on November 1.
"I've spoken to Mark and the plan is to go (to Melbourne) as his owner is very keen," said the trainer's wife and assistant, Deirdre.
"He's very versatile and has come out of the race great."