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  1. ITV Report

Hero horse Kauto Star retires from racing

Kauto Star ridden by Ruby Walsh going to post for the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase, on Gold Cup Day, during the Cheltenham Festival Photo: PA

Paul Nicholls has announced Cheltenham Gold Cup winner and five-time King George VI Chase hero Kauto Star has been retired.

Kauto Star before the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase in March Credit: PA

We have had nine superb years with the horse but, after seeing him in his work these past few weeks, myself, Clifford and Dan were of the opinion that the time had arrived to retire him.

Of course, as owner, the final decision rested with Clive, but he agreed that the horse had done enough.

...And, deep down, we know he has done enough - and in some ways I think we have to protect him from himself. And maybe ourselves, too. If he did go to Kempton and win or run well, would you really want to run him - or be able to resist the temptation - in the Gold Cup?

I am not so sure.

– Paul Nicholls, trainer writing on Betting.betfair.com
Kauto Star racing Credit: PA

He has given me my best days in the sport and, even though the Gold Cups and King Georges are the pinnacles for any staying chaser, with his 2009 Kempton win breathtakingly impressive, the raw emotion that followed his Haydock win last November will live longest in my memory.

I had to hold myself together to stop myself being in floods of tears that day, and I just about managed it.

– Paul Nicholls, trainer writing on Betting.betfair.com