Nicholls retains Kauto Star hopes

March 02, 2012
Racing - Horse Racing - Bet Now at Bet365

Trainer Paul Nicholls remains upbeat about Kauto Star's chances of making the Cheltenham Gold Cup, despite the horse having suffered a fall during schooling at the end of last week.

The twice winner of the big race at Cheltenham, scheduled for Friday 16th March, had initially been rated as a 50-50 chance to be fit in time to feature, but Nicholls seems a little more optimistic as time passes.

He told Sky Sports News: "He's been sound ever since - he cantered on Saturday and he's cantered every day since.

"It was only when I got back from Cheltenham Media Day on Wednesday evening that Clifford (Baker) my head lad, who rides him every day, said 'he's going okay but it's 50-50 in my opinion, he might not get Cheltenham'.

"We're hoping we can get him there. There's just a chance that we might not be able to get him there, so we thought we'd better let people know.

"We're still hopeful, we've still got a fortnight. He needs to be at his very very best to run in the race. That's what we need to get him at, there's just a chance he might not."

Kauto Star, who won the Gold Cup in 2007 and 2009, is now 4/1 to win the race for a third time this year, with last year's winner Long Run 11/10 and Grands Crus 11/2.

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