After Kauto Star’s Betfair Chase victory, Haydock Park witnessed scenes like those played out after Desert Orchid’s incredible win in the 1989 Cheltenham Gold Cup. Where there is jumping there is love, the adoration and affection for Kauto didn’t just flow out of the Racecourse gates it ran wild to every corner of the UK, Ireland & quite possibly the world.
I fully hold my hands up as after his lacklustre performance at Punchestown in May I was worried that the old boy wasn’t enjoying himself anymore. I thought retirement was the sensible option. Silly silly me! I totally eat my words for breakfast, lunch and dinner! To see him make all in a field of such quality was nothing short of awesome. His leap at the last and the roar that followed will long live in the memory.
Gold Cup winner Long Run was brave in defeat, his class and heart took him into second place. His jumping was a worry but you can be sure that connections will work on that between now and the King George, which is being seriously considered by connections. On this showing and at this stage of the season I would not readily back against him retaining his crown in March. Weird Al ran with credit and I look forward to seeing him return after a break. He fully deserves his place in races of this calibre.
I must admit to being somewhat disappointed with the performances of Diamond Harry and Time For Rupert. At this moment in time I can only draw on two conclusions. 1) There is something amiss with the both of them or 2) Maybe this level of race is asking too much.
For ten minutes on Saturday afternoon, everything was right with the world. Thank you Kauto, you are truly beautiful.