Kauto Star retirement marks 'end of an era', says trainer Paul Nicholls
Racing legend Kauto Star has been retired, champion trainer Paul Nicholls has confirmed this morning.
Nicholls and owner Clive Smith have announced their decision to retire the two-time Cheltenham Gold Cup winner after agreeing that the horse "had done enough".
The brilliant chaser won the 2007 Gold Cup and two years later became the first horse to regain his crown. He also won an astonishing five King George VI Chases.
Nicholls said Kauto Star's recent exercise work at his stable in Ditcheat, Somerset, convinced him he should be retired.
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There has been speculation about whether Kauto Star would ever race again since he was pulled up in the Gold Cup at this year's Cheltenham Festival.
Owned by Clive Smith, the 12-year-old finishes with a record of 23 wins from 47 races over jumps and earnings of £2.37 million.
Writing in his Betfair column, Nicholls said: "The end of an era has finally arrived. Clive was here this morning and we have taken the decision to retire Kauto Star.
"We have had nine superb years with the horse but, after seeing him in his work these past few weeks, we 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.
"Don't get me wrong, Kauto looks and feels as vibrant as ever, as those who saw him at our owners' Open Day last month would testify to. He was mad fresh that day and continues to be as alert as ever and very, very well in himself.
"But I suspect Kauto will be like that when he is 20 years old.
"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."
Click here to read the full Paul Nicholls Betfair column.
KAUTO STAR TRIBUTE - IN PICTURES