“For eight glorious seasons I have marvelled at his brilliance, bravery and exuberance, his quality and elegance, at times his fallibility, but most of all his longevity.” Alice Plunkett, Channel 4 Racing
It is widely accepted in the world of jump racing that Kauto Star is the best steeplechaser since the immortal Arkle half a century ago.
The only horse ever to have regained the Cheltenham Gold Cup crown, and a scarcely credible five-time winner of the other classic of the jumps season, the King George VI Chase at Kempton Park, Kauto Star has posted an extraordinary record during eight seasons racing in Britain.
But it is what lies behind the statistics which make the Kauto Star story so compelling: the rivalry with stable companion Denman, his next-door neighbour in the Somerset yard of trainer Paul Nicholls; the fallibility expressed in his earlier chasing years by the heart-stopping habit of making at least one major blunder in a big race; the apparently terminal slump in his form as he reached veteran status, which only made the resurrection more glorious.
Kauto Star: A Steeplechasing Legend edited by Andrew Pennington with an introduction by Alice Plunkett, tells that uplifting story as it unfolded through the pages of the Racing Post in words and pictures, to make a worthy celebration of the life and career of one of jump racing’s all-time greats.
Kauto Star: A Steeplechasing Legend is published by Racing Post Books on 12 October, priced £20. It is available from www.racingpost.com/shop and all good bookshops.