Nicholls upset as Kauto Star leaves stables
LONDON (AFP) –
Champion trainer Paul Nicholls admits he was sad to see Kauto Star’s time at his Ditcheat yard come to a sudden end on Tuesday after eight years of remarkable success.
Kauto Star, the winner of five King Georges and two Cheltenham Gold Cups, had been officially retired in late October but was expected to remain at Manor Farm Stables in Somerset until Boxing Day.
However, owner Clive Smith announced on Monday that the 12-year-old horse would be moved away to be prepared by European bronze medalist eventing rider Laura Collett for a new career in the world of dressage.
That decision has not been popular with Nicholls, who trained Kauto Star to victory in 19 races.
“It is with great sadness that I have to report that Kauto Star has left the yard for the last time,” Nicholls told his Betfair column.
“It has been no secret that Kauto’s future has been a great source of debate since we announced his retirement.
“And, to be brutally honest, this morning I felt the time had finally come for me to take control of the situation, and to start making the decisions.
“Now, I am fully aware that Kauto is Clive’s horse and he can do as he wishes, even though I would personally have loved Clifford (Baker the head lad) to have looked after him for the rest of his years.
“But what upset me and my team here is when Clive announced that he had spoken to experts about the horse’s future – but failed to consult and listen properly to the team that had looked after him here for the past nine years. That really upset us.”