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Page last updated at 08:57 GMT, Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Kauto Star has infection says trainer Paul Nicholls

Kauto Star and Tony McCoy at the King George VI Chase
Kauto Star could not secure a fifth consecutive King George VI win on Saturday

Beaten King George VI Chase favourite Kauto Star has a "low-grade infection" and is being treated with antibiotics, his trainer Paul Nicholls says.

He said on Twitter that blood tests after Saturday's surprise defeat had shown "signs of inflammation".

Kauto Star was third under champion jockey Tony McCoy as Long Run thwarted the 11-year-old's bid for a fifth straight win in the big Kempton race.

"Antibiotics and easy few days," said Nicholls of Kauto Star's treatment.

Speculation has been fierce over Kauto Star's defeat with some observers suggesting age has caught up with the dual Cheltenham Gold Cup winner, while others believe he merely had an off-day.

He is rated a general 10-1 fourth favourite behind 2010 winner Imperial Commander, Long Run and stablemate Denman - the 2008 champion - to regain his crown at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

Nicholls revealed on Sunday that the horse suffered a minor bleed from both nostrils after the race, which owner Clive Smith has indicated was probably the result of an internal injury.

The Somerset-based champion trainer said he would issue an update on the four-time King George winner's health on Friday.

Smith told BBC Sport on Monday that the horse might be better suited by usual partner Ruby Walsh when he returns from injury.

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see also
Kauto owner seeking Walsh return
17 Jan 11 |  Horse Racing
Kauto Star set for Gold Cup bid
16 Jan 11 |  Horse Racing
Kauto Star fails as Long Run wins
15 Jan 11 |  Horse Racing
King Kauto dethroned
15 Jan 11 |  Horse Racing
McCoy races to Welsh National win
08 Jan 11 |  Horse Racing
McCoy rides favourite Kauto Star
24 Dec 10 |  Horse Racing
McCoy wins BBC Sports Personality
19 Dec 10 |  Sport Homepage
Winning return for Master Minded
20 Nov 10 |  Horse Racing

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