Sport Horse Racing

Saturday 24 February 2018

Kauto Star 'one of the greatest' - Walsh

Ruby Walsh
Ruby Walsh
Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Ruby Walsh has hailed Kauto Star the best chaser he has ever ridden after the dual Gold Cup winner suffered a fatal injury in a paddock.

The 10-time champion jockey rode the brilliant chaser in 27 of his 31 starts for Paul Nicholls, and his 17 wins aboard the French-bred included both of his Gold Cups and five King George VI Chases.

"Kauto Star was a superstar and it's a real shame that his life off the track has been cut short," Walsh wrote on his Paddy Power blog of the 15-year-old, which had competed in the dressage arena following his retirement in 2012.

"He was without a doubt the best chaser I've ever ridden - a horse in a lifetime. I'll never ride one as good as him again. To have the speed to burn off crack two-mile chasers but still have the stamina to outstay top-class chasers in wars of attrition over three miles plus was just incredible. You very rarely get that combination in a racehorse.

"I had some of my greatest days as a jockey on him. His last King George VI Chase win (when he beat Long Run in 2011) was fabulous. Kauto was very simply one of the greatest jump horses in history."

Speaking on Racing UK, Walsh added: "I am too young to remember Arkle, and it is very unfair to compare horses from different eras. To me, in his era, he was the best."

Kauto Star earned nearly £2.4m in prize money plus a further £1m bonus that Betfair put up for any horse that won the Betfair and King George VI Chases plus the Gold Cup in the 2006/2007 season.

When Walsh pulled him up in his last race, the 2012 Gold Cup, he received rapturous applause as the race went on without him.

Irish Independent

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