Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Kauto Is the Star Turn

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Kauto Is the Star Turn

Article excerpt

Byline: NAOMI MATTHEW

IF you can find any evenmoney knocking about on Boxing Day for Kauto Star, snap it up as the soon-to-be 11-year-old is a real gift for punters at Kempton.

Primed to the minute for a record-breaking fifth straight win in the William Hill King George VI Chase (3.00), the most popular jumper in training looked as good as ever on his comeback last month.

That came in the JNwine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal, a race trainer Paul Nicholls has started him off in before.

Facing two classy and race-fit rivals in Sizing Europe and China Rock, the result could be called some way out.

Ruby Walsh never had to get serious to see off Sizing Europe and although the latter saw out the three-mile trip well enough, it is very difficult to see him turning the tables.

On betting Long Run is the biggest danger, but at this stage he is more hype than substance and third in the Paddy Power Gold Cup last time out does not inspire confidence for an assignment such as this.

In truth, the rest are playing for place money, and it will be interesting to see if anything really tries to take Kauto on, or just run their race and be happy with second or third.

If ever a horse was a long-term chasing prospect it was Aiteen Thirtythree and he can take the next step in the williamhill.com Feltham Novices' Chase (1.50).

Possessing a big reputation before he saw a racecourse, he did well to win a bumper and a novice hurdle and made the perfect start over fences at Newbury in a race that had a sad postscript with the death of Tell Massini.

The selection looked to have his measure when Tom George's prospect came down and it was plain sailing after that.

A real stamina test will suit him best in due course but he is hard to oppose here.

The Nicky Henderson-trained Peveril should get off the mark over fences at the first time of asking at Fontwell. …

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