Friday 15 November 2019

Paul Nicholls admits to doubts on Kauto Star’s future

Champion trainer Paul Nicholls has admitted he is "not as keen" as he was to continue the amazing career of Kauto Star.

The 12-year-old bounced back to his brilliant best last season to win a fourth Betfair Chase and a record-breaking fifth King George VI Chase.

He then suffered a schooling fall when being prepared for the Cheltenham Gold Cup and faced a race against time to make the race.

Kauto Star ran but was pulled up before halfway.

No final decision has been made on his racing future, as Nicholls has yet to sit down with owner Clive Smith to make the call.

"It's a difficult one, he's in good shape, we need to have a sit down and a serious talk with Clive and see what he wants to do and then get in bed with what Clifford (Baker, head lad) and I want to do and we've got to meet in the middle," Nicholls said.

"Last year I was keen to run him, I thought he could win another one or two - I'm not saying he couldn't win another race, but I'm not as keen as I was.

"He's achieved so much you just think what else can he do, you don't want to take any chances with him.

"Every day they exercise you are always taking a chance so we'll just see.

"We said we'll see how the next month went and then make a decision and let everybody know.

"Nothing is niggling me. I've given it a lot of thought and it's a lot of pressure. It was great winning those two races last season but then he had the problem before Cheltenham and that was a lot of pressure.

"I don't really know, I need to talk to Clive and we'll make a decision. At the end of the day Clive owns him and we'll get together and make a decision."

Smith said he would discuss Kauto Star's future with Nicholls very shortly.

"I've only just come back from holiday so I haven't had a chance to talk to Paul yet," he said.

"We'll definitely sit down in the next week or two to decide what we do."

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