There have been a number of legends born at the Cheltenham Festival and one of those to do just that in recent years is the brilliant Denman. The Paul Nicholls horse has finished in the top two in the Gold Cup for the past four years, with the highlight of his career coming back in 2008 when he won the race in brilliant fashion. At 11 years-old it looks as though Denman is entering his final season in training with Nicholls announcing he will make his seasonal debut at the Lexus Chase over Christmas before going back to the Gold Cup. Denman showed last season at Cheltenham that he still enjoyed his racing with a stunning performance to push Long Run all the way in the Gold cup, he galloped himself into the ground and only found a horse five years his junior too good for him. He disappointed at Aintree on his last start back in April but the race came to quick for him, connections will not make that mistake again with only two runs scheduled for him this winter.
Alongside Denman, Paul Nicholls is also planning a final campaign for the great Kauto Star who of course has won the Gold Cup on no less than two occasions in 2007 and 2009. Kauto has perhaps been the best chaser in recent memory but looked well below sorts when we last saw him in the Guinness Gold Cup at Punchestown back in May and at 11 he maybe close to retirement. There is no doubt that Kauto Star ran a blinder in the Gold Cup last season when third but after being pulled up at Punchestown many were calling for him to be retired over the Summer. As it stands that has not happened and it appears that connections are eager to give the horse one more chance to show his appetitive with a run in the Betfair Chase at Haydock now looking likely. A good run from Kauto at Haydock will likely see him given one more crack at the Cheltenham Festival, likewise another poor run could well see the legendary horse retired. Denman and Kauto Star have given punters and fans of racing some special memories at the Cheltenham Festival down the years, and it is hoped that both make it there again in 2012 for one last race on the big stage.