Next Kauto Star will have to be homegrown admits Nicholls
Paul Nicholls is looking within the youngest members of his string to find the next Kauto Star, Denman, Master Minded or Big Buck's, the likes of whom are so much harder to buy, he said on Sunday.
He is pinning his hopes on three-year-old recruits from France and his best group of novice chasers for many seasons.
He identified Sao, a half-brother to Frodon, a filly called Malaya, who won at Auteuil on her last start, and Risk And Roll, who was third in a juvenile hurdle at the same track, as newcomers to look out for.
But he added: "It's the novice chasers I'm most excited about. We've 25-30 really smart ones. During the summer Black Corton has won three, Alcala five and Bagad Bihoue four. Black Corton and Alcala are both rated over 150. They're the summer ones – the ones we have for the winter should improve on what they've done."
Kauto Star had run ten times before he joined Nicholls and Master Minded eight, aged four, but the market for such horses is now much more competitive.
"You knew they were good before you bought them," said Nicholls. "Now those horses get sold after one run so you're gambling. It might look impressive in one run, but six months down the line that form might be worthless.
"The only way is to be patient and bring on young horses. I think we've an awesome team of novice chasers, probably the best we've ever had. They're the future in the next two or three years, but you're not going to buy them, you have to make them and be patient.
"We've been incredibly lucky to have had brilliant horses and win all those Grade 1s, and probably don't deserve to get them any more. But I'm sure round the corner we'll find some more. They just have to be more homegrown nowadays."