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Kauto Star Gold Cup dreams end

Kauto Star bade a poignant farewell to Cheltenham racecourse after the horse’s bold attempt to land a third Gold Cup ended in disappointment.

Jockey Ruby Walsh pulled the horse out of the race after just 9 fences when it became apparent that things weren’t going to plan. The jockey withdrew the horse as a precaution, although vets later found no injury.

Remarkably the popular horse was greeted by warm waves of applause around Cheltenham from thousands of race fans who had put their money on Kauto Star to deliver a memorable victory.

Clive Smith, the horse’s owner, said, "When he got to the water jump, he had to stretch a bit, and he was dropping back straight away. It was very sad that we didn't see a real contest, but I was really pleased that Kauto was all right. I'll go home tonight and look back on a fantastic career. People keep asking me which was his most memorable race but they've all been memorable, he's won so many Grade Ones."

The owner and trainer are "90% sure" that the horse will be retired. "I'll take advice, but someone would have to work very hard to persuade me that you'll see him out again," Smith said. He was determined to avoid the tragic end that befell Best Mate and Dawn Run, Gold Cup winners killed while racing.

Race favourite Long Run also disappointed, failing to recapture his best form and labouring into third place behind surprise winner Synchronised, ridden by Tony McCoy.

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