Cheltenham Racecourse plans tribute to Kauto Star
CHELTENHAM Racecourse chiefs will hold talks with owner Clive Smith about the best way to honour the career of his legendary racehorse Kauto Star.
The matter is expected to be a topic for discussion at a board meeting today after his trainer Paul Nicholls announced yesterday the two-time Gold Cup winner would not race again.
Subject to Smith's agreement, Kauto Star may have a statue erected in his honour in the same way as past greats Arkle, Golden Miller, Dawn Run and Best Mate, or even have a stand named after him.
Edward Gillespie, who steps down as managing director tomorrow after 32 years at Prestbury Park, hailed the two-time Gold Cup winner as the best horse to race at Cheltenham at least since Arkle won the last of his three Gold Cups in 1966.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
"It's been a fascinating journey and he's set this place alight and given it a real extra pep," said Gillespie.
"It's been a real pleasure looking after this great place at the same time as his career.
"He brought people into the sport in the same way as Desert Orchid – people loved seeing him.
"He's the finest horse to race here since 1966 and possibly even before then.
"I'm sure the team here will talk to Clive about how we can celebrate his career in the most appropriate fashion."
As well as lasting monument, racecourse officials could put together a montage of his finest moments to show on the big screen at the next meeting, the Open on November 16 to 18.
There has been almost constant speculation about Kauto Star's future since the 12-year-old was pulled up by his regular jockey Ruby Walsh in the Gold Cup in March.
Smith said he was glad the decision to retire his outstanding champion, whose other big wins include five in the King George VI Chase at Kempton, had finally been made.
"He's had a fantastic career and it's great that he's been able to retire safe and sound," said Smith.
"It's been lovely to have him, I've been very lucky to have had him.
"We gave him the summer off in the paddock as normal and decided we'd give him two months training to see how he would react.
"That brought us to the end of October, where we are now, and the decision has been made to call it a day."
Cirencester-based jockey Sam Thomas, who won the 2008 Cheltenham Gold Cup aboard Denman, partnered Kauto Star to glory in the 2007 Betfair Chase at Haydock.
He described Kauto Star, who won 23 of his 41 races and £2.37 million in prize money, as a "wonder horse".
He said: "I was lucky enough to ride him and win on him and he has been a very special horse.
"He did an enormous amount to raise the profile of National Hunt racing and I think enormous credit has to go to Paul Nicholls for producing to win all those big races on the big days.
"To win two Gold Cups, Tingle Creeks and five King Georges is incredible and he might not have done that had he been trained by anyone else.
"It's a shame we won't see him run again but at least he will be able to enjoy his retirement with his old friend Denman.
"I think Kauto's record will struggle to be beaten in my generation and now he's retired, along with Denman, it's the end of an era.
"Kauto was a wonder horse and we might not see the likes of him and Denman again."