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Kauto Star - Kempton 2008

Kauto Star: bids to make history in Saturday's King George at Kempton

  PICTURE: Getty Images  

Kauto 'as good as ever' in opinion of work-rider

KAUTO STAR is "as good as ever" in the opinion of regular work-rider Clifford Baker, trainer Paul Nicholls reported on Wednesday.

The 11-year-old superstar chaser will be attempting to win a historic fifth King George VI Chase at Kempton on Saturday.

Speaking on At The Races, Nicholls said: "Clifford rode him last Saturday and said he feels as good as he's ever felt."

When asked about the ground at Kempton, which is expected to be testing, the champion trainer added: "It's probably an advantage for him, the ground won't be a problem for him but it's probably a disadvantage for some of the others."

One rival who won't be inconvenienced by soft ground is stablemate The Nightingale, who has been backed into a general 10-1 chance having been as big as 40-1 at the start of Christmas week.

On his chances, Nicholls said: "The ground on Boxing Day [December 26] would have probably been too quick for him, so the way it's worked out is an advantage. He's got to improve enormously on what he's done but he's a progressive young horse.

"If Kauto [Star] wasn't in the race then I would really fancy him and if the handicapper's got it right then he's got a chance of being placed."

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