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Press Salute Gutsy Kauto Star

“For anyone who is passionate about jump racing, Haydock was the place to be yesterday,” writes Tom O’Ryan in today’s Racing Post - a phrase which perfectly encapsulates Kauto Star’s brave nose victory over Imperial Commander in the thrilling £200,000 Grade One Betfair Chase at Haydock Park on Saturday.

Kauto Star

Kauto Star

O’Ryan begins his piece by saying: “It was the sort of thrilling outcome which makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up...A blunt knife would have cut the atmosphere at the end of a finish that will live long in the memory. And, as for the cheers that rang out when the result virtually everyone wanted to hear boomed over the tannoy, they had to be heard to be believed.”

In the same publication, Alastair Down also believes that the 2009 Betfair Chase will live long in the memory: He writes: “Most races, even those at the highest level, soon slip down between the duckboards of memory, but yesterday’s Betfair Chase was an exception, not least because even after it was over it had not finished handing out both drama and surprise.”

Down goes on to finish his article by saying: “Most of us thought the Betfair Chase was something close to a wonder to behold, one of those races with nearly every ingredient you would expect to find on the tin marked ‘Epic Chases’. It was not far off what the sport is always striving to produce and which we live in hope of seeing.”

Meanwhile in the Sunday Times Brough Scott leads on the fact that Kauto Star had work hard for his victory: “Kauto Star, the greatest steeplechaser since Desert Orchid, perhaps even since Arkle himself, duly began his sixth British racing season with victory in the Betfair Chase but only after a desperate, lung-sapping slog up the Haydock run-in against Imperial Commander. At the line Ruby Walsh thought his horse was beaten. So did the crowd and a huge collective cheer of relief went up when the result came through.”

Over in The Observer Will Hayler reminds us that Kauto Star is a horse of tremendous courage as well as one of tremendous ability by saying: “It was not a race for the faint-hearted, but Kauto Star showed once again that he is not afraid to get his nose dirty when claiming the hardest fought of all his 12 Grade One victories and denying Imperial Commander by a nose in the Betfair Chase.”

Marcus Armytage also picks up on this point in the Sunday Telegraph by commenting: “You do not have 12 Grade One wins notched on your stable door if you are not a battler.”

Yesterday’s race was afield day for tabloid headline writers and the News Of The World’s racing section barks SUPER STAR ahead of Andy Birt’s words of wisdom: “Kauto Star was forced to call on all his reserves to land the bravest win of his life at Haydock yesterday.”

Patrick Weaver’s piece in the Sunday Express is preceded by the headline KAUT SHORT. Weaver goes on to say: “Kauto Star put his supporters through the mill as Imperial Commander made him pull out all the stops to register a 12th Grade One success in the Betfair Chase at Haydock.”

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