A tribute to two-time Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Kauto Star – the greatest of a generation
Once a generation an equine superstar comes along. A heady potion of courage, tenacity and sheer brilliance sees the nation take them to our hearts. Arkle, Red Rum, Desert Orchid, a who’s who of racing’s pantheon of greats that non racing goers know and love.
The most recent addition to that particular hall of fame over the jumps has been Kauto Star.
Like ‘Dessie’, the Paul Nicholls trained Star was blessed with the speed and jumping accuracy to win at the highest level over two miles in Sandown’s Tingle Creek coupled with the abundant stamina to win racing’s Blue Riband, the Gold Cup.
RIP my friend you were a true Legend. Once in a lifetime. pic.twitter.com/tGBsz5wfZf
— Paul Nicholls (@PFNicholls) June 30, 2015
If you tuned into Channel 4 at Christmas and the white blaze was always there, a distinguishing feature on the noblest of heads. To win Kempton’s King George chase takes more than just sheer ability – but winning it five times is a story that Hollywood would reject for being too unbelievable.
By 2011 it had looked as if the Star had begun to wane. Heavy defeats in the rescheduled King George, the Gold Cup and at Punchestown saw calls to retire. Kauto had different ideas however, returning that Autumn to win the Betfair Chase at Haydock before that historic fifth King George.
Even the most hardened and stoic racing folk had a tear in their eye, roared home by the packed enclosures it mattered not a jot who one had backed, the collective were lifting ‘King Kauto’ home. The news of his paddock accident last week and the battle to save him has brought the racing world together to share their memories of one of the finest to ever grace the racecourse.
The Racing Post comment for that fifth King George sums it all up: it begins that he “jumped impeccably” and finishes very simply with “awesome.”
Awesome he was and awesome he shall forever be.
Sad news about KAUTO STAR the most complete chaser of the modern-era RIP pic.twitter.com/LpxUd867UV
— AP McCoy (@AP_McCoy) June 30, 2015