Kauto Star made history with a superb run to become the first horse to regain the Cheltenham Gold Cup. The 7-4 favourite, who won in 2007 before stablemate Denman got the better of him 12 months ago, was back to his brilliant best with Ruby Walsh onboard.
The duo had travelled well throughout the race and pulled clear of Denman eith three fences remaining. From then on there was only going to be one winner with Denman 13 lengths back in second and Exotic Dancer third. Walsh always had the nine-year-old well placed and he looked far more confident than he did in last year’s race.
The Nicholls stablemates turned into the straight together and the pressure seemed to be on Denman, who was out for 11 months after last year’s success with heart problems.
Denman’s only run of this season had seen him perform well below par at Haydock and although he improved greatly on that performance, he always seemed to be struggling against the winner of this season’s King George VI Chase.
By the second last, Kauto had pulled clear and although both Denman and Exotic Dancer battled hard along with another Nicholls charge Neptune Collonges, who was third last year, they were unable to get near the winner who gave Walsh his seventh win of this year’s Festival.