Kauto Star has already done enough during his career to be considered a great of National Hunt Racing but this weekend he is aiming to write another chapter to his already great story by winning a 5th consecutive King George VI Chase. The race at Kempton has been in the ownership of Paul Nicholls and Kauto Star for the past four years and another win on Boxing Day will see the prize remain in Ditcheat for another year. The Dual Gold Cup winner will complete his preparations for the Cheltenham Festival with his run at Kemtpon where he is an odds-on favourite to win, a good run there will be the ideal prep for another tilt at the Cheltenham Festival in March. There has been a change of Jockey for Kauto Star though with usual and long time partner Ruby Walsh on the sidelines with a broken leg. Noel Fehily was covering for him but he too misses the race with a wrist injury, leaving AP McCoy to take the ride just one week after he picked up the Sports Personality of the Year award.
The booking of McCoy will only serve to see the price of Kauto winning on Sunday cut yet further and in truth there looks very little in field to trouble the favourite if he jumps well. Perhaps the most dangerous runner in the field could be the young Long Run who has been tipped for a big future, he has yet to fulfil that potential but a good run here could see him enter the Cheltenham Gold Cup picture for this season. The same can be said of Riverside Theatre who is stable mate of Long Run with Nicky Henderson; he is stepping up in trip but has a great record at Kemtpon making him a danger for Kauto Star. All eyes are on the favourite though as he goes for a history breaking win at Kempton, he seems to act around the track better than anywhere else including Cheltenham and it is impossible to look past him on Boxing Day. Seeing Kauto Star win has become something of Christmas tradition while it will also be his last run before he attempts a third win in the Gold Cup at the Festival. He fell in last year's race but the bookmakers have Kauto Star fighting Imperial Commander for Gold Cup favouritism so the King George will give punters one last chance to make their minds up before March.