Kauto Star was a five-time winner of the King George Chase and this three-mile Grade 1 Novices’ Chase was named after him in 2012, having formerly been known as the Feltham Novices’ Chase. The race takes place on Boxing Day and has recently become notable for providing the first Grade 1 winners for leading female jockeys Lizzy Kelly and Bryony Frost.
Kauto Star Novices’ Chase 2018 Trends
- The last 10 winners have been aged between 5 and 8, with six winners being aged 6
- Paul Nicholls has trained two of the last 9 winners
- Two of the last eight winners have gone on to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup
- The last five favourites have all been beaten
Kauto Star Novices’ Chase 2018 Major Contenders
This former point-to-point winner has always been held in the highest-regard by his trainer Nicky Henderson and he won three of his four hurdle races in his novice hurdle season. Always regarded as a chaser, he was sent straight over fences this season and was well-backed prior to running out a ready winner at Newbury. The runner-up has since won, and this six-year-old is thought capable of going right to the top as a chaser. Yet to race right-handed but no reason why it should hinder him.
Fell on his hurdles debut in November 2017 after which trainer Paul Nicholls put him back over hurdles for the remainder of last season. He then lost 20-lengths when he whipped around at the start at Exeter when reverting to fences on his seasonal debut, but ran a remarkable race to be beaten by less than four-lengths at the finish. The step up to three miles should suit and is another thought capable of being a top-class chaser.
Beaten off a mark of 145 on his last two starts over hurdles but has quickly made up into a useful chaser with three successive wins in novice hurdles. He also gave weight and a beating to two potentially useful rivals last time and has proven he handles right-handed courses.
La Bague Au Roi
Seven-year-old mare who has won 12 of her 17 starts including her two runs over fences so far. She jumped really well in both those races and has also won over three-miles at Kempton over hurdles. The negative is that she was well-beaten in her last two starts over hurdles in Grade 1 races and may struggle against potentially very good horses.
Kauto Star Novices’ Chase 2018 Summary
La Bague Au Roi and Bags Groove both brings unbeaten chasing records to the table and are more experienced than the two horses above them in the betting. However, that means Santini and Topofthegame both have more potential to improve. A win for the highly-touted Santini would come as no surprise but, with the last five favourites all getting beaten, it might be worth taking him on with the Paul Nicholls’ trained Topofthegame, who ran a remarkable race at Exeter last time.
Kauto Star Novices’ Chase 2018 Tip