Tom Scudamore: Kauto Star can excel elsewhere after hard decision to let him go
There have been a lot of comments in the press and on the social media sites about Kauto Star leaving Paul Nicholls' yard on Tuesday. Clive Smith, Kauto Star's owner, actually announced it on Monday at The Ivy, where I was lucky to be invited to lunch with Charlotte for a press event for the King George.
It's such an emotive issue, but I'm going to sit on the fence on this one. The way he has been handled by Paul and his team has been fantastic. Paul knows him inside out and he has certainly done the right things for him during his racing career.
However, he's still a relatively young horse and there's nothing to say he can't go and excel at something else.
One thing the Pipes are exceptional at is finding ex-racehorses good homes, and they dedicate a big part of their website to following their careers.
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It's actually the best part about the website and, if you look today, you'll see news on some famous and not so famous horses.
For example, Jean Broadhurst left a trust fund for her horses before she died and Buena Vista enjoys his retirement in her paddocks; Our Vic is at the British Racing School and Wahiba Sands, Fair Mix, Royal Predica and Akahurst have all been shown successfully.
On the other hand there are horses like Miinehoma who was a real handful and couldn't have adapted to a life doing something else. He retired at Pond House and loved his annual outing to the Grand National, where he paraded every year.
I think it's great to see these racehorses go on and do other things but the problems come after you've had so many good years with them; it is very hard to say goodbye. Kauto Star was with Paul for eight years and won all those great races so I can see why it must be so hard for everyone there that he's gone. But equally it would be wonderful to see him do well at something else.
Sprinter Sacre's performance in the Tingle Creek was phenomenal. I thought it would be much closer between him and Sanctuaire but he blew them all out of the water. He jumps, he travels. Barry Gergahty is a very lucky man to be able to ride him.
He is an exceptional horse because he isn't a one-race wonder, but keeps on doing it. Every single time he has run over fences, he's won with his head in his chest.
There was some good racing in Ireland over the weekend but it's hard to equate the form to British runners. Flemenstar was very impressive but he's yet to race in England and there has to be a reason why. Reading between the lines, it might be because he's not the greatest traveller. I'm looking forward to seeing him race over here in the spring.
I rode Problema Tic in the Betfred Becher Chase at Aintree and he was going really well and enjoying himself over the fences. It was a typical Aintree fall and he just clipped the top of the fence.
I was supposed to be riding The Giant Bolster today at Huntingdon in the Peterborough Chase but sadly it's off. He's really well and it seemed like the perfect race for him.
Once again, the weather is playing havoc with the meetings.
Exeter's next meeting is on Thursday, December 20. A free bus service from St David's railway station (11.10am) and Exeter Bus & Coach Station (11.25am) is available with the bus returning 30 minutes after the last race. A fantastic local Christmas package is available at both meetings and includes a Chunks pie, a pint of Otter Ale, grandstand and paddock admission, a racecard and a betting voucher, all for £23. Tickets are available from £13 if booked in advance and the restaurant costs from £69pp, including admission. Children aged 17 and under race free. For more details contact the office on 01392 832599 or email firstname.lastname@example.org