Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Racing

Kauto stars in Punchestown prep

Kauto Star showed his well-being ahead of the Guinness Gold Cup at the Punchestown Festival with a pleasing piece of work at the weekend.

It will be the dual Cheltenham Gold Cup hero's first appearance at the big spring meeting, though he has won on his two trips to Ulster for the Champion Chase at Down Royal in 2008 and 2010.

"He worked great on Saturday, really well. It's the obvious race to run him in so we're looking forward to that," trainer Paul Nicholls told At The Races.

The 11-year-old, third in last month's Gold Cup on his latest start, is to head a small but select team from the Nicholls stable for the five-day feast at the County Kildare venue early next month.

"I entered Ghizao (in the Ryanair Novice Chase) but we're going to leave him off now and wait until next season. He's had a good season," added Nicholls.

"Tataniano runs this weekend (in the Celebration Chase at Sandown). He's fresh and well and if he runs well on Saturday he'll go there as well (in the Champion Chase).

"I've got one other entry, Empire Levant (in the AES Champion 4YO Hurdle), and that's about it really.

"A lot of them have been on the go and it's the back-end of the season. Kauto and Tataniano haven't had that many runs so that's why we are going to run those. The rest of them want a holiday now."


From Belfast Telegraph