Kauto Star decision biggest ever – Nicholls

Paul Nicholls believes he is set to make “the biggest decision” of his career as to whether 4/1 shot Kauto Star will compete in the Betfred Gold Cup at Cheltenham.

The 12-year-old was being primed to go for a third Gold Cup this year before a fall while schooling at Nicholls’s Ditcheat base put his participation in jeopardy.

As a result Nicholls has rated Kauto Star’s chances of competing at Prestbury Park as 50-50 and will only enter the legendary steeplechaser if he is fighting fit.

There were positive signs when Kauto Star enjoyed a roll in his box after working on Friday but Nicholls is cautious about creating false optimism.

The trainer went on to say that the decision over Kauto Star’s participation would be the biggest he has ever had to make.

“There are no fitness issues here, we haven’t missed any work and he was fit and well,” Nicholls told Channel 4 Racing’s The Morning Line.

“Next Saturday will tell us, then I’ll have a discussion with Clive (Smith, owner) and Clifford. We’ll all have a little input and see if we can come up with the right decision.

“It’s a difficult decision, probably the biggest decision I’ve ever had to make.”

Defending champion Long Run is the 11/8 favourite still for the Gold Cup, with Burton Port and Grand Crus at 6/1.

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