Questions over Kauto Star's racing future remain unanswered
The annual open day at Paul Nicholls’ Ditcheat stables in Somerset is a sure sign the National Hunt season is about to start in earnest.
There were some familiar faces on display, including the legendary Kauto Star, and the retired Grand National winner Neptune Collonges.
Other horses have big shoes to fill, particularly Pacha Du Polder, who has moved into the stable box formerly occupied by the great Denman.
Big Buck’s, who has won 17 consecutive hurdle races, and Sanctuaire, who will contest a thrilling rivalry this season against the brilliant Sprinter Sacre, also paraded.
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The biggest question – on Kauto Star’s future – remains unanswered.
"It looks as though he’s got older and slower doesn’t it," Nicholls joked. "He looks absolutely outstanding.
"Everyone asks what is the plan for the future. It’s incredibly difficult because he is such a public horse and still the highest rated horse in training."