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Kauto Star to face maximum 10 rivals in King George

William Hill King George VI Chase Saturday 15 January, 1505 GMT, Kempton
Coverage: Channel 4 TV, BBC Radio 5 live, updates on BBC Sport website

By Frank Keogh

Kauto Star and trainer Paul Nicholls
Four-time King George winner Kauto Star with trainer Paul Nicholls

Kauto Star will face a maximum of 10 rivals as he goes for a historic fifth win in the rescheduled King George VI Chase at Kempton on 15 January.

The British Horseracing Authority has ruled the race, postponed from Boxing Day, will not be reopened to entries.

It means the 11 horses left in at the original 48-hour declaration stage will be the only ones allowed to compete.

The field could be smaller as Irish trainer Henry de Bromhead has indicated Sizing Europe is not a definite runner.

Kauto Star, trained by Paul Nicholls, will only have The Nightingale as a stablemate in the race.

Champion trainer Nicholls had left in the Sir Alex Ferguson-owned What A Friend and former Supreme Novices' Hurdle winner Noland among a total of 14 entries at the five-day confirmation stage earlier in December.

But those three were taken out, along with Burton Port for Nicky Henderson, of the original final declarations.

Henderson does still have two strong challengers to Kauto Star's crown with Long Run, second favourite in the betting, and course specialist Riverside Theatre possibles for the Seven Barrows handler.


There could be an Irish representative in the 2009 Arkle Chase winner Forpadydeplasterer.

Philip Hobbs' Punchestown Gold Cup winner Planet Of Sound may also turn out while Tom George's Nacarat, who was fourth in the 2009 King George, is set to have another crack.

The last two horses to finish second behind Kauto Star in the King George, Madison du Berlais and Albertas Run, will attempt to go one better, while the veteran Ollie Magern completes the field.

The King George was due to take place on Boxing Day and then put back 24 hours due to snow and frost, before officials decided to reschedule.

Final declarations will now be announced on Thursday 13 January.

As well as the King George, the Christmas Hurdle - which is set to feature champion hurdler Binocular - will also be held on the same date.

Fran Berry, racing manager to Binocular's owner JP McManus, said: "The plan is for him to run at Kempton and then we'll take it from there."

Champion jockey Tony McCoy is due to ride Kauto Star after injury ruled out Noel Fehily.

It will be the first time that McCoy, the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, has ridden the two-time Cheltenham Gold Cup winner in a race.

Ruby Walsh, who is expected to be out injured, was on board the 10-year-old for all four of his previous King George wins.

King George VI Chase entries (11)

Albertas Run, Forpadydeplasterer, Long Run, Kauto Star, Madison Du Berlais, Nacarat, Planet of Sound, Ollie Magern, Riverside Theatre, Sizing Europe, The Nightingale

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see also
January date for King George race
26 Dec 10 |  Horse Racing
High five for Kauto Star
25 Dec 10 |  Horse Racing
McCoy rides favourite Kauto Star
24 Dec 10 |  Horse Racing
McCoy secures double at Kempton
21 Dec 10 |  Horse Racing
McCoy wins BBC Sports Personality
19 Dec 10 |  Sport Homepage
The Kauto Star story
29 Oct 12 |  Horse Racing
BBC racing coverage
09 Apr 11 |  Horse Racing

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