Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Kauto Star Captures the Imagination

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Kauto Star Captures the Imagination

Article excerpt

KEMPTON clerk of the course Barney Clifford is ready to get behind Kauto Star as he bids for a remarkable fourth successive triumph in the William Hill King George VI Chase at Kempton today. The popular grey Desert Orchid is the only horse to land the prestigious Festive prize on four separate occasions and Kauto Star is bidding to better him by winning it four years on the bounce.

Clifford is delighted to report there are no problems with the course and he is keeping his fingers crossed Kauto Star can make Boxing Day history.

"Everything is absolutely fine this morning, although it feels pretty cold as there is a bit of a breeze," said Clifford.

"It looks as though we're going to have a sold out crowd and obviously everyone is really looking forward to the day. Everyone will be behind Kauto Star and he has certainly helped with our advanced ticket sales.

"I've been here 10 years now and we're privileged enough to have Desert Orchid's ashes. It's a shame he's not still around as he was such a public favourite and used to be a big crowd pleaser when he was parading before the race.

"I was never actually on track to see 'Dessie' when he was winning the King George but I was obviously aware. It would be great if Kauto Star wins it again as I think he has really started to capture the public's imagination."

The picture at Market Rasen is not so bright as officials were yesterday forced to abandon their Boxing Day fixture due to snow on the track. The Lincolnshire venue became the latest victim of the cold snap with today's meetings at Sedgefield, Towcester and Wetherby having already fallen by the wayside. Clerk of the course Nick Patton said: "We brought the inspection forward as there has been no improvement and snow is still covering the track. It's obviously hugely disappointing as it's a massive fixture for us, but there was no point dragging it on as things are not going to improve sufficiently. …

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