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Nicholls says reluctant goodbye to Kauto Star

By Keith Hamer

Champions trainer Paul Nicholls has admitted his “sadness” after Kauto Star's time at his Ditcheat yard came to an abrupt end.

Champions trainer Paul Nicholls has admitted his “sadness” after Kauto Star's time at his Ditcheat yard came to an abrupt end.

The winner of five King Georges and two Cheltenham Gold Cups had been officially retired in late October and was expected to remain at Manor Farm Stables in Somerset until Boxing Day, when he was due to parade at Kempton.

Owner Clive Smith had announced on Monday that the 12-year-old would be switching to eventer Laura Collett and long-time Great Britain manager and coach Yogi Breisner for a new career in the world of dressage — a decision not popular with Nicholls and his staff.

The winner of 19 races — including two victories in the Down Royal Festival feature, the |JNwine.com Champion Chase — Kauto Star had been with Nicholls for eight years before yesterday’s departure.

“It is with great sadness that I have to report that Kauto Star has left the yard for the last time,” said Nicholls.

“It has been no secret that Kauto's future has been a great source of debate since we announced his retirement.

“And, to be brutally honest, I felt the time had finally come for me to take control of the situation, and to start making the decisions.

“Kauto is Clive's horse and he can do as he wishes, even though I would personally have loved (head lad) Clifford (Baker) to have looked after him.

“I would just to like say that it was a privilege for us here at Ditcheat to train the horse.”

Smith said: “I wanted him to have an interest — he's just too good to be a hack or to be out in a field.”

The owner added: “I wanted him to do something else.”

Meanwhile, Armagh trainer Jim Lambe has an each way chance with King’s Jester at Dundalk tonight.

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