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Feltham honour for king Kauto

Mon, 10 December 2012

National Hunt legend Kauto Star is to be recognised in the renaming of the Feltham Novices' Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day.

Clive Smith's gelding, who has now been retired, managed to win the William Hill King George VI Chase five times from six attempts on the feature afternoon at the Sunbury venue.

The Grade One event, over the same course and distance, will be known this year as the Kauto Star Feltham Novices' Steeple Chase (in memory of Nigel Clark) until approval has been agreed for a permanent renaming of the race.

Phil White, Kempton's general manager, said: "It is an amazing legacy that Kauto Star leaves at Kempton Park, his achievements over the past six seasons are second to none and unlikely to be surpassed.

"Both William Hill and Kempton Park are honoured to mark the esteem racing fans throughout the nation hold for Kauto Star and we are especially delighted to welcome the superstar back to Kempton Park on Boxing Day this year to let his adoring public wave him a fond farewell."

Kauto Star's trainer Paul Nicholls has not made any firm plans over potential runners in the Feltham, naming Poungach and Unioniste as possibles, while David Pipe's smart grey Dynaste is expected to line up.

In good news for the King George itself, the sponsors have agreed a new three-year deal with Kempton. William Hill will headline the Winter Festival until 2015 and increase funding by over 15%.

Ralph Topping, CEO for William Hill, said, "This message reaffirms our long-term commitment to one of the jewels of the National Hunt season.

"By increasing our contribution to the William Hill Winter Festival by more than 15%, we are bucking the culture of cutbacks and putting our money into this major Festival.

"The William Hill Winter Festival, featuring the King George, is now firmly established as the major sporting event of the Christmas period."