Kauto's Star class shows
Kauto Star's entry in the Hennessy Gold Cup has given a lop-sided look to the big staying handicap chase at Newbury on November 27.
The dual Cheltenham Gold Cup winner, trained by Paul Nicholls, would carry top weight of 11st 12lb should he take his chance, but only two others would run off their correct marks.
Coincidentally they would be two stablemates, Denman (11st 4lb) and Neptune Collonges (10st).
Denman has already won the Hennessy twice, in 2007 and 2009, and no horse has ever been successful three times.
Kauto Star made a successful return to action in the JNwine.com Champion Chase at the Down Royal Festival on Saturday and his main objective in the first half of the season is the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day, which he has won for the last four years.
The Hennessy is one of several items likely to be on the agenda when connections get together at the weekend.
“I may have a talk with Paul on the phone in the meantime, but we are certainly meeting up at the weekend. We'll have lots to discuss,” said owner Clive Smith.
The David Pipe-trained Madison Du Berlais, who carried 11st 4lb to victory in 2008, has been allotted 9st 7lb.
Last year's runner-up What A Friend (9st 9lb), also from the Nicholls camp and part-owned by Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, is 11-2 second favourite behind 5-1 market leader Denman. Kauto Star is 7-1.
Meanwhile, Donald McCain was left “very happy” after his unbeaten Peddlers Cross galloped after racing at Bangor yesterday.
The Cheshire-based handler had earlier saddled a treble at his local track to further advertise his string are in rude health.
The Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle winner is due to reappear in the StanJames.com Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle on November 27.
“It was grand. He had a nice blow, it got the freshness out of him and he worked very nicely so I'm very happy,” said McCain.
“He's such a good work horse, I can't quite get the graft I need to into him at home as he does everything so easy. It was good.
“We've put him in the Hatton's Grace at Fairyhouse just in case something happens at Newcastle. I'm just keeping bases covered, but Newcastle is the plan at the moment.”