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Kauto Stone upheld the family name as he emulated his legendary half-brother Kauto Star by winning the Champion Chase at Down Royal.

Kauto Star, who was retired earlier this week, won the race in 2008 and 2010 and his younger sibling added his name to the roll of honour with a first success over three miles (4800m).

Trained by Paul Nicholls and ridden by Daryl Jacob, the six-year-old took a keen hold early on in the Grade One contest, but his rider managed to anchor him in fourth as First Lieutenant and last year’s winner Quito De La Roque set the early gallop.

After doing all the leg work, the early effort began to tell on Quito De La Roque and First Lieutenant while Realt Dubh was primed to challenge on the inside, with Kauto Stone sitting on the outside.

However, Realt Dubh clattered the second-last fence and despite being switched to the outside to challenge again, he had lost valuable momentum and Kauto Stone assumed the lead before the last and held off First Lieutenant by a length.

Kauto Stone is owned by Robin Geffen and his racing manager Charlie Liverton was quick to hail the efforts of the Nicholls team.

“Last season was great as an introduction and he won a Grade Two and was second in a Grade One,” Geffen said.

“This season he had to man up and step up. Today is a stepping stone for the season.

“He stayed every yard of the trip in yielding ground and he’s a three-miler now.

“He’ll be entered in all the big Christmas races.”

PA A

 
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