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Kicking King Out of Gold Cup

Kicking King, winner of the 2005 Cheltenham Gold Cup, has been ruled out of the 2008 renewal next week.

Kicking King

Kicking King

Tom Taaffe's 10-year-old made an encouraging return from an injury lay-off when second to Nickname at Gowran Park in January, but disappointed when only third on his second run this year.

Connections were still keen to have a crack at the Gold Cup, but they have been forced to bypass Cheltenham after Kicking King failed to sparkle in a piece of work.

Owner Conor Clarkson told At The Races: "Unfortunately Tom Taaffe wasn't happy, and neither was Barry Geraghty, with his work. We've therefore no option but to say he will not be running in the Gold Cup.

"Obviously there's just something a little amiss at the moment. His legs are fine, but the quality would not be up to the standard of the Gold Cup. He's just not firing on all cylinders."

He added: "This has nothing to do with retirement, it is just the quality of his work. It was reasonable, but Tom is an astute trainer and Barry is a top jockey.

"The quality of his work was just not up to the quality he'd been producing in the last couple of months.

"There may be a lingering, low-grade virus there and he'll have a nice little break now. If he shows sparkle in his work in the next couple of weeks we'd be delighted to go to Punchestown.

"The Punchestown Gold Cup is now the target."

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