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Kauto Star neither met the winning Gold Cup expectation placed upon him or even completed the race but he remains a champion. The only horse to be applauded in the parade ring before the race there was spontaneous clapping during the Gold Cup as he was pulled-up by his jockey Ruby Walsh.
Failure today will not dent the fans love for this animal. How many other race horses get scarves and songs in their name? His career in the Gold Cup is now finished. Winning twice might not be a record but it's still a remarkable achievement.
Jonjo O'Neill, who was secured his first Gold Cup as a trainer, said: "AP was brilliant on him, he knows him so well.
"Our big worry was keeping him in the race as, if he makes mistakes, he gets behind.
"A lot of work has gone into him at home so was a great team effort from the yard.
"He only came right in last 10 days or so and we weren't really confident.
"He flowered in the last few days and it was spot-on timing."
Trainer Paul Nicholls said Kauto Star, whose participation in the Gold Cup was in jeopardy following a schooling fall a fortnight ago, had returned from the race unscathed.
He said: "He's absolutely fine.
"Ruby wasn't happy after he'd jumped a couple of fences and we said if he wasn't happy to pull him up, and he's done the right thing.
"There's obviously something tweaking him."
Following the race he tweeted:
Tony McCoy, who secured his second Gold Cup victory after Mr Mulligan took the title in 1997, said: "He's an amazing horse and it was an amazing performance. I'm so pleased to win it for JP as he's been so good to me.
"Jonjo has done an incredible job. I've got a Grand National and a Gold Cup out of the man and I love him to bits."
The Giant Bolster finished in second place, while favourite Long Run came in third.
Winning jocket Tony McCoy said: "It's great for Jonjo and JP McManus. He's really delivered today. He was off the bridle the whole way and when I missed the third-last I thought my chance had gone."
Dual winner Kauto Star was pulled up at the ninth fence by Ruby Walsh after losing his place.
Synchronised, trained by Jonjo ONeill and ridden by Tony McCoy, won the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Kauto Star has been pulled up in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Latest ITV News reports
Tony McCoy rode to victory in the Cheltenham Gold Cup on Synchronised as two-times winner Kauto Star was pulled up at the ninth.