Jockey Club Racecourses today moved to honour one of the greatest Jumps horses of all time, revealing it will award a special ‘Kauto Star Trophy’ in addition to a £1 million bonus to the connections of the next horse to win The Jockey Club Chase Triple Crown, which consists of the Grade 1 Betfair Chase, 32 Red King George VI Chase and the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup.
The recognition marks ten years since the “horse of a lifetime” became the first, and so far only, racehorse in history to win Britain’s three blue riband staying chases in the same season (2006/7), which are each run at The Jockey Club's racecourses.
A special horse wining the Chase Triple Crown feat in the 2016/17 Jumps season will win connections a newly-commissioned Kauto Star Trophy and a £1 million bonus over-and-above Grade 1 prize money, split between the owner (£650,000), trainer (£150,000), jockey (£100,000) and stable staff from the winning yard (£100,000).
The winning owner will keep the trophy in perpetuity and will be asked for their permission to name a future bespoke trophy after their own Chase Triple Crown winner, who will have taken their place in the history books.
Some of the leading staying chasers in training today are entered in Saturday’s Betfair Chase at Haydock Park for the first leg of The Jockey Club Chase Triple Crown. Confirmations include last year's Betfair Chase and King George VI Chase winner, Cue Card; 2015 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner, Coneygree; and two-time Betfair Chase winner, Silviniaco Conti, as well as Irish Cavalier, Seeyouatmidnight, Gods Own, Menorah, Outlander, Roi des Francs and Vezelay.
Paul Fisher, Group Managing Director of Jockey Club Racecourses, said:
"Kauto Star was one of the greatest staying chasers in the history of our sport and showed what it takes to win the three Grade 1 contests in our Chase Triple Crown in the same season. To mark the ten-year anniversary of that feat we wanted to create a trophy to honour Kauto’s memory and all he gave our sport. I'd like to thank Clive Smith for giving us permission to do so.
"The question now is, will this be the season we see the Kauto Star Trophy won and the £1 million bonus that goes with it? We’d be delighted because it would mean a great new champion for our sport has emerged."
Clive Smith, who owned Kauto Star, said:
"This is a fantastic idea from The Jockey Club and one I fully support. Kauto Star was such an incredible horse; he had it all, he really was the complete racehorse."
Kauto Star's trainer, 10-times Champion Jump Trainer, Paul Nicholls, said:
"It’s fitting that The Jockey Club has commissioned a trophy in Kauto Star’s name to honour his Chase Triple Crown winning season. A horse has to have very special qualities to win the Betfair Chase, King George VI Chase and the Cheltenham Gold Cup in the same season. The year Kauto won the Chase Triple Crown, we all realised what a superstar horse we had on our hands."
Ruby Walsh, 10-time Irish Champion Jump Jockey, who rode Kauto Star for each his 2006/7 Chase Triple Crown victories, said:
"The Jockey Club bonus of £1 million is a huge incentive and the way it's divided up so the owner, trainer, jockeys and stable staff share, that's important. It's nice of The Jockey Club to name the Chase Triple Crown trophy after Kauto Star. He was a wonderful horse and it'll take a fair horse to do it again.
"You need pace to win at Haydock and Kempton, and then to win the Gold Cup you need a huge depth of stamina. The year Paul decided to Kauto was going to step up in trip [in the Betfair Chase] we were stepping into the unknown. I remember going to Haydock thinking if he does stay three miles, with the pace he has this could be something massive; I couldn't slow him down!
"To win those three races it's very difficult. I think Kauto had a lot of things that other racehorses have but he had them all together. He had pace, he had stamina, he could jump, he had longevity, he had a great temperament; he just had the whole package. He was simply the best."