Past Winners » Kauto Stone

Kauto Stone


I think there is an angle to the Chase now with Sizing Europe about to be withdrawn. Quito De La Roque is now favourite, but he has an awful lot to prove. He did win this race last year, but he was out with the washing going down the back straight, and it was only because The Nightingale and Sizing Europe had gone at each other from so far out that he was able to plod on to mug the pair of them.

He has had his problems, he only ran once after that last season, when he was a beaten favourite in the Lexus, and he has to bounce back. His stamina is proven, but it is unlikely that they will go as fast up front as they went last year, and he may not be able to recover if he gets done for pace this year.

I am also happy to be against the other Gigginstown horse First Lieutenant. He is better going left than he is going right, he is better on good ground than he is on soft, and it may be that he is better over two and a half miles than he is over three. So there is a lot against him today.

Realt Dubh and Kauto Stone were the two on my shortlist and, of the two, I prefer Kauto Stone. He remains a potentially high-class chaser, he is probably at his best when he is fresh, he is proven at the track, he loves soft ground, and his trainer Paul Nicholls loves this meeting in general and this race in particular, having won three of the last five renewals.

Kauto Stone finished second to Sizing Europe in the Tingle Creek Chase last year, and he won the two-and-a-half-mile chase at this meeting last year. It is probable that Nicholls has been training him for this race for a while. He has to prove his stamina for this trip, but he has won over two miles and six furlongs on heavy ground in France, and he is a half-brother to Kauto Star, so he has every chance of getting it. If he does, he has a big chance of winning, and he is worth backing now at 4/1 with Sizing Europe out of the race.