Ladbrokes Kauto Star Novices' Chase
Grade 1, Kempton Park 13:20
£100,000 guaranteed,
4yo plus,
3m, Class 1  
Tuesday 26th December 2023

1 Il Est Francais 13/8
2 Hermes Allen 11/8F
3 Kilbeg King 28/1
6 ran Distances: 11l, 3¼l, 29l
Time: 5m 51.30s (fast by 2.70s)

Il Est Francais delivered an impressive jumping performance, clinching victory on his British debut at Kempton.

Part-owned by Englishman Richard Kelvin-Hughes, ridden by James Reveley, also English, and jointly trained by Noel George, Il Est Francais proudly represented France.

At just five years old, Il Est Francais had already demonstrated his dominance in France, putting his rivals under pressure with exceptional cruising speed and precise jumping. Despite encountering fences on various strides, the 13-8 favorite made only a single semblance of error over the three miles. James Reveley, son of former trainer Keith and a multiple champion jockey in France, expertly guided the talented gelding to victory.

While briefly challenged by Paul Nicholls' Hermes Allen, Il Est Francais, once asked to seal the race, quickly widened the gap, finishing with an 11-length lead.

Trained in partnership by Noel George and Amanda Zetterholm, the winning horse is jointly owned by Haras De Saint-Voir, who also bred him.

Noel George, expressing relief, remarked, "It is not very nice to watch as you always have your stomach in your throat. When you see him in the morning and I say he takes your breath away, he does."

On future plans, George shared, "He is a horse with so many different options. The dream this season is to win the French Gold Cup (Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris)... that is our main aim this season. A French Gold Cup then a King George here next year is very much what we would be thinking, but whether we go to Cheltenham we would have to see."


Kauto Star Novices' Chase
(Formerly The Feltham Novices' Chase) (Grade 1)
£100,000 guaranteed, 4yo plus, 3m, Class 1,
6 ran
Going: Good

1    Il Est Francais 5 11-7 Noel George & Amanda Zetterholm James Reveley 13/8
11 Hermes Allen 6 11-7 Paul Nicholls Harry Cobden 11/8F
Kilbeg King 8 11-7 Anthony Honeyball Sam Twiston-Davies 28/1
29 Tightenourbelts 6 11-7 Emma Lavelle Tom Bellamy 12/1
PU Marble Sands 7 11-7 David Killahena & Graeme McPherson Brendan Powell 20/1

PU Giovinco 6 11-7 Lucinda Russell Stephen Mulqueen 11/2

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