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Page last updated at 14:55 GMT, Saturday, 1 November 2008

Kauto eases to Down Royal victory

Kauto Star and Ruby Walsh
Kauto Star and Ruby Walsh jump the final fence at Down Royal

Kauto Star produced an impressive performance to easily win the Jnwine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal in his first appearance of the season.

The 2007 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner was travelling well all the way and overhauled long-time leader Knight Legend three fences from home.

The 2-5 favourite finished 11 lengths ahead of 50-1 shot Light On the Broom with Knight Legend holding on to third.

The Listener was fourth, while Turpin Green unseated his rider three out.

Knight Legend set the early pace ahead of The Listener and Turpin Green, while Ruby Walsh was content to let Kauto Star settle in fourth.

There was no change in the order until the fourth-last where The Listener made a bad blunder, with Daryl Jacob doing well to stay on board.

But the mistake allowed Kauto Star to move briskly up to the leader and go on and get the win he wanted.

Trainer Paul Nicholls was delighted with the winner's performance.

"He jumped really, really well. All the ability and the enthusiasm was there," he said.

Kauto Star is now being aimed at the Betfair Chase in Haydock in three weeks before an expected challenge at the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day.

The horse has claimed two previous wins in the Kempton race.

Elsewhere, State Of Play denied Ollie Magern a third victory in the bet365 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby.

Evan Williams' charge got his revenge after being beaten into second place by the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained mount 12 months ago.

Ollie Magern held a narrow lead after jumping the last but the 5-2 favourite got up by a length under a strong Paul Moloney drive.

Williams said: "That was some job to bring him back for today. It was well documented that we have had a hard job getting him right again.

"After this race last year nothing went right for him. He has to be fresh, and it is credit to the owners, they freshened him up at their farm over the summer.

"Me and Paul hatched a plan, and said that we would commit at the last moment because we didn't want to get into a fight with Ollie."


JNwine.com Champion Chase:

1. Kauto Star (R Walsh) 2-5
2. Light On The Broom (MP Walsh) 50-1
3. Knight Legend (A Leigh) 11-1
5 ran.

Bet365Charlie Hall Chase

1. State of Play (P Moloney) 5-2 Fav
2. Ollie Magern (P J Brennan) 6-1
3. Snoopy Loopy (S E Durack) 4-1
6 ran.



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see also
Denman storms to Gold Cup victory
14 Mar 08 |  Horse Racing
The Kauto Star story
26 Dec 07 |  Horse Racing


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