All Hail King Kauto
1 Kauto Star 3/1
Kauto Star became the first horse in history to land the William Hill King George VI Chase at Kempton five times with a quite brilliant performance under Ruby Walsh.
The Paul Nicholls-trained 3-1 chance was ridden positively for the three-mile test and was in front with a circuit to go, and as he quickened the pace heading down the back straight, he produced some sensational leaps to get his rivals in trouble.
Last season's King George and Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Long Run stayed on tenaciously in the home straight, but Kauto Star was not for catching and had a length and a quarter in hand at the line.
Walsh said: "He's an amazing horse. He jumped super and travelled great. This is a fairytale. He's a wonderful horse and it's a credit to the people who work with him every day. He's beaten a six-year-old (Long Run) and he's 12 next week. To keep a horse going as long as that is amazing.
"The weak don't last - the tough do. You can say what you want about the best steeplechasers of all time, but he's outlasted them all. He's lasted longer than any other horse and that's what makes him so brilliant. This horse is as tough as nails and he's exceptional.
"He's gone on as long as Desert Orchid. Arkle didn't last long, neither did Mill House."
Nicholls added: "He's just awesome and I knew we had him in serious order. I don't know why he wasn't quite right last year. It was a massive plus having Ruby here today and it's just unbelievable.
"It's amazing. He's just the best. If he gets to Cheltenham in that form he'll be the one to beat (in the Gold Cup).
"I promise you that the slightest sign he is losing his enthusiasm and we will call it a day. I will never have another horse like him and although he is 11 he has been acting like an eight-year-old at home."
Owner Clive Smith said: "I knew this was the biggest day of my racing life - 24 years or so. It's unbelievable and I'm so proud. He's such a magnificent animal. He's got such a heart. He wants to go on. He's a lion. I'm so pleased, I can't tell you how excited I am. I'm shaking."
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