32Red Kauto Star Novices' Chase
|Grade 1, Kempton Park 13:55
3m, Class 1
|Wednesday 26th December 2018|
1 La Bague Au Roi 8/1
2 Topofthegame 5/1
3 Santini 11/10F
7 ran Distances: 1½l, 2l, 11l
Time: 6m 1.50s (slow by 7.50s)
La Bague Au Roi gamely rallies to defeat Topofthegame
La Bague Au Roi has been the apple of trainer Warren Greatrex's eye for some time - and lined up contest with a perfect record over fences to date.
She was always going to be tested to the limit though, in what looked the deepest renewal of the three-mile showpiece for many a year.
Richard Johnson was happy to take a lead for two-thirds of the contest, as Red Indian and Bags Groove set the pace, until the latter disappointingly dropped away on the second circuit.
La Bague Au Roi jumped herself to the front a long way from home, gaining lengths at her fences and putting the others under pressure, including the favourite Santini, who was caught flat-footed turning in.
It was the Paul Nicholls-trained Topofthegame who loomed up as the big threat and he looked sure to win when Henry Cobden kicked him into a lead approaching the second-last, but he met the fence wrong.
That gave La Bague Au Roi the advantage again and like a terrier she would not be denied, flying the last and keeping on for a length-and-a-half victory.
Kauto Star Novices' Chase
(Formerly The Feltham Novices' Chase) (Grade 1)
£100,000 added, 4yo plus, 3m, Class 1,
Going: Good to Soft, Good in Places
|Pos||D||Horse SP||Jockey Weight||Trainer||Age|
|1st||La Bague Au Roi (FR) 8/1||R Johnson
|2nd||1½||Topofthegame (IRE) 5/1||H Cobden
|P F Nicholls||6|
|3rd||2||Santini 11/10f||Nico de Boinville
|N J Henderson||6|
|4th||11||Red Indian 25/1||Ross Chapman
|Miss Kelly Morgan||6|
|5th||22||Bags Groove (IRE) 9/2||N D Fehily
|6th||6||The Worlds End (IRE) 6/1||G Sheehan
|T R George||7|
|UR||No Hassle Hoff (IRE) 50/1||D A Jacob