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Kauto Stone Lands JNwine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal
03/11/12

1 Kauto Stone 4/1
2 First Lieutenant 9/2
3 Quito De La Roque 2/1F
NR: Sizing Europe (IRE)
8 ran Distances: 1l, 3¾l, 8l
TIME 6m 17.30s (slow by 32.30s)

Kauto Stone kept the family tradition going as he made a successful seasonal bow as he landed the Grade One JNwine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal.

Kauto Stone
© Racehorse Photos

Kauto Stone

Trained by Paul Nicholls and ridden by Daryl Jacob, the 4-1 chance was noted travelling smoothly some way out before challenging at the second-last. The front-running First Lieutenant made a battle of it, but he had no answer as Kauto Stone pulled away after the final fence to score by a length.

Kauto Stone emulated the feat of his great half-brother Kauto Star, who won this race in 2008 and 2010. Kauto Star also won five King George VI Chases and two Cheltenham Gold Cups before his retirement earlier this week and Coral offer 20-1 about Kauto Stone hitting the Gold Cup jackpot.

Jacob told At the Races: "He did it nicely. He travelled well and we got a lovely lead through the race. I think he will improve from that.

"They went a nice, even gallop all the way. He travelled well in the Tingle Creek Chase (last year) so he was always going to travel well today. Paul is a master at keeping horses fresh and well and I'm sure he will have a nice target in mind for him at home."

Kauto Stone is owned by Robin Geffen and his racing manager Charlie Liverton was quick to hail the efforts of the Nicholls team.

He said: "The team at Ditcheat have worked brilliantly on him. He's only six. He settled so well today. Daryl produced him between the second-last and the last and he's absolutely flown it. He rode him brilliantly and gave him plenty of air at the fences. The big questions were would he get home and would he settle.

"Last season was great as an introduction and he won a Grade Two and was second in a Grade One. This season he had to man up and step up. Today is a stepping stone for the season. He stayed every yard of the trip in yielding ground and he's a three-miler now.

"We'll have to consider the Lexus and the King George and he'll be entered in all the big Christmas races."

The race lost some its lustre in the morning when Henry de Bromhead pulled Sizing Europe out due to unsuitable ground.


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