Kauto Star has been given a surprise entry to the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury at the end of November as connections continue to plan his way towards the King George on Boxing Day, and ultimately the Gold Cup at the Cheltenham Festival. Kauto Star has been the superstar Chaser of the past five years and this could be the last big season for the two-time Gold Cup winner, he will be 11 when the Festival comes around and every race will be crucial to build his fitness and sharpness if he is to compete with the younger horses. Paul Nicholls has entered Kauto Star along with eight of his stable mates in the Hennessy to keep his options open, it is more likely though that we will see Kauto avoid the Hennessy in favour of the JNWine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal at the beginning of November.
That race fits in nicely with his bid to win a remarkable 5th consecutive King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day, with that in mind we are likely to see Denman lead the Nicholls charge in the Hennessy as he did last year. All eyes will be on Kauto where ever he makes his seasonal debut after his fall in the Gold Cup last time out, he was never travelling that day despite being favourite and connections will be hoping he can bounce straight back. The bookmakers are not reading too much into that with most having Kauto as the joint favourite in the current Cheltenham Gold Cup Odds. It would of course be foolish to right off such a great horse as Kauto Star but he does have to prove he can still be a cut above the rest as he has been for so many years.