Kauto fine after workout

The Paul Nicholls-trained Kauto Star went for a strong canter yesterday as he bids to make the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup on March 16.

The two-time winner has bounced back to his supreme best this season with victories in the Betfair Chase at Haydock and the William Hill King George VI Chase at Kempton but was declared 50-50 for Cheltenham on Friday following a fall when schooling.

Nicholls said in his column at www.betfair.com/paulnicholls yesterday: “He had his physio and an hour on the walker, and then we gave him a strong canter over ten furlongs with That’ll Do and Rowdy Rampage.

“All was fine.

“We will look to step up his work next week, and I will give a further update tomorrow.”

Neil Mulholland meanwhile reports Midnight Chase in top form with the Gold Cup just under two weeks away.

The 10-year-old is already a five-times winner at the home of jumps racing and was a creditable fifth in the big race last March.

He showed he was a worthy each-way candidate for this season’s renewal when landing the Argento Chase at the Prestbury Park track in January.

With the hard work now done, Mulholland just has to keep his stable star on song for the blue riband on March 16.

“His preparation is going according to plan. He’s fit and well and healthy. That’s the main thing,” said the Devon trainer.

“He’s just how we want him and it’s a case of keeping him that way now. All the work is done. We just have to keep him ticking over.

“Every day in the build-up to the race will be a nervous one, but we just have to make sure we get him there.

“It’s great for a stable like ours to have a horse like him good enough to run in the Gold Cup.”

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