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By Billy Blakeman ValueChecker

Kauto Doing Just Fine but Planet Of Sound the Value?

The winter weather may be playing havoc with the jumping scene in general but the star of the game, Kauto Star, has not been sent home from school, with trainer Paul Nicholls reporting his charge unaffected by conditions thus far.

Kauto Star
© Grossick Racing Photography

Kauto Star

The champion trainer told the Press Association;

"Clive (Smith, owner)and I decided the King George was the priority and his preparation has gone exactly as we wanted," Nicholls said. As we saw last year, he improved from the Betfair Chase to the King George, and hopefully he'll show the same improvement from Down Royal to the King George. He has done plenty of work, and with the race in three weeks' time on Sunday, we're exactly where we want to be.

"I just hope the weather relents but we've had no problems. We do our own salting, the all-weather gallop has been fine, and he hasn't missed any work at all. Hopefully Noel will be able to ride him - he could be back by the end of next week. Clive is happy for him to ride, and if he's ready, then he will. After the King George he'll go straight to the Gold Cup. You never know, but realistically this will be his last season at the very top of his game, and we want to get him to Cheltenham in the best possible form.

Planet Of Sound

Planet Of Sound
"Obviously Kauto is not getting any younger but I can't see any reason why he's not as good as ever. He could come back (for the King George) next year, but who knows."

Kauto Star is currently 11/8 for the Boxing Day showpiece but I rather like Planet Of Sound at a current 20/1. Relatively unexposed, this pacey sort could be just the type and Philip Hobbs has targeted the 8-y-o at the race.

The first day of the month sees a solitary meeting on the polytrack at Kempton and not much takes the eye. Perhaps Abhainn could take some catching if getting to the front early in the 2.00.

Recommendations: Kempton 2.00 – Abhainn; King George Ante-post – Planet Of Sound at 20/1


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