Kauto Star’s brilliant display in winning the King George VI Chase for a record fourth successive time has earned him the right to be compared to the mighty Arkle.
That is the view of John McCririck, who believes Kauto Star deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as the Irish legend of the 1960s following his annihilation of the opposition at Kempton yesterday.
“There are not enough superlatives to describe the performance. It was awesome, it was magnificent and it was racing so badly needs,” said the Channel 4 racing pundit.
“And we’ve still got Denman to come. He’s got his supporters and what a fantastic build-up we are going to have to the Gold Cup. It is absolutely mouthwatering.
“We are lucky to have Kauto Star. I was there when Arkle ran his last race and we are all mystical about him, but the power Kauto Star showed was astonishing.
“The others were legless behind him. Madison Du Berlais (second) came with a bit of a spurt that would have won a normal King George.
“There is no question people who have been in the game a long time have to really ask now had Arkle been there would Kauto Star have been able to do that anyway?
“The very fact you can seriously pose the question with Arkle there and Kauto Star with Ruby Walsh tailing him. What would have happened?
“I never thought about the possibility of comparing one horse with the great Arkle and we have had horses like Desert Orchid and Red Rum.
“I’ve always been a Kauto Star man. He has the acceleration you need. Denman is like the Mill House and Kauto Star is the Arkle.
“I felt Mill House was unbeatable until Arkle came along. He was the tank, but it’s speed that matters. I don’t think Denman has it, but Kauto Star certainly has and he doesn’t make mistakes now.
“The very fact that you are actually considering the possibility that Arkle in his prime could have been beaten by another horse at Kempton or in the Gold Cup. You can give it serious consideration after yesterday and you cannot come up with a definitive answer.
“One thing I’ll never forget was the noise made by the 22,000 people at Kempton.
“It could not have been louder had Rooney scored the winning goal for England in the World Cup final. It was spine-chillingly fantastic.”