Kauto Star confirmed for fifth William Hill King George VI Chase
12th December 2011
Four times previous winner Kauto Star will bid to regain the William Hill King George VI Steeple Chase at Kempton Park, it was announced today.
The legendary horse's trainer Paul Nicholls revealed that the 11-year-old will run in the showpiece race on Boxing Day, taking on last year's winner, Long Run, and Kauto Star's stable mate, Master Minded.
The decision comes just over three weeks after Kauto Star defied pundits who said his best racing days were over with a superb victory in the Betfair Chase at Haydock Park.
Amy Starkey, Kempton Park's managing director, said:
"This is brilliant news. We are delighted for all Kauto's fans who will be at Kempton Park on Boxing Day. It will be an incredible occasion when Kauto takes on the current champion Long Run. It's the 'must see' horse race of the season."
In all, 15 horses are pencilled in to take part in the big £180,000 race Boxing Day. Among the other potential runners are the sole Irish challenger and Arkle Trophy winner Noble Prince and trainer Henrietta Knight's Somersby.
Brian Clifford, Kempton Park's director of racing, added:
"We're looking forward to a fantastic renewal of the William Hill King George VI Steeple Chase, with the mouth-watering prospect of another clash between Long Run and Kauto Star.
"Will it be the race that confirms Long Run as a superb horse for a second season; will Kauto Star regain his crown; or will we witness a new Boxing Day hero?"
Long Run opened a new era for jump racing when he triumphed in the delayed Kempton Park showpiece last January before going on to Cheltenham Festival glory.
Now the six-year-old, whom the sponsor makes its 6-4 favourite, is aiming to win back-to-back William Hill King George Steeple Chases during the 2011 William Hill Winter Festival.
Victory for Long Run would make him a unique horse - the only one ever to have won TWO William Hill King George VI Steeple Chases and a Cheltenham Gold Cup in the same calendar year.
Tickets for the 2011 William Hill Winter Festival
Fantastic value 'Cracker' packages - available only in advance for both days of the William Hill Winter Festival on Boxing Day and Tuesday 27 December - come with a book of vouchers for a racecard, a drink, a £10 bet with William Hill, and a discounted return visit to Kempton Park in the New Year.
* Premier Cracker with reserved seat £60; * Premier Cracker £45; * Paddock Cracker £30.
Tickets for the Festival Enclosure can also be bought in advance. They cost £12. Car parking tickets, which can be ordered in advance too, cost £5, £8 and £15.
On the second day of the William Hill Winter Festival - on Tuesday 27 December - the prices are £25 for Premier Cracker and £18 for Paddock Cracker tickets. The Festival Enclosure on day two is £8 in advance, while car parking is £3 or £5.
Disabled parking is free of charge, as is parking in the centre of the racecourse on both days.
Bookings can be made online at boxingdayraces.co.uk or by calling the box office on 0844 579 3008.