Kauto Star has been the premier chaser over the past few years and the two-time Gold Cup winner made his seasonal return at Down Royal over the weekend, the Paul Nicholls horse was straight into his stride as he comfortably took the win ahead of another potentially huge season. It was a solid if unspectacular performance from Kauto as he beat a small field which included 2010 Arkle winner Sizing Europe and the impressive China Rock. In truth though it was Kauto Star and Ruby Walsh who were always in charge of the race and he is likely to come on for the run with his next appearance likely to be at Kempton on Boxing Day.
There was however a big blow for the connections of Kauto Star later on the card at Down Royal as Walsh took a fall and broke his leg, the injury will rule the jockey out for a number of months and fighting to be fit for the 2011 Cheltenham Festival. Walsh will now definitely miss the ride on Kauto Star at Kempton on Boxing Day as he goes for a historic 5th consecutive win in the King George VI Chase. AP McCoy has immediately been installed as the favourite to get the plum ride on Kauto and the Champion jockey looks the ideal replacement. It is still possible that we could see Kauto Star take on Denman in the Hennessy at the end of November; if he does run there he will carry top weight meaning a direct route to Kempton is more likely. Paul Nicholls and owner Clive Smith are aware that at 10 Kauto Star isn't getting any younger and this could be his last campaign at the very highest level. He will go for a 5th win at Kempton before heading back to Cheltenham to have another crack at winning the Gold Cup he last won in 2009 as he aims to record another historic season to his already impressive record.