Kauto Star Novices’ Chase Date is Saturday, 26 December 2020

Racecourse: Kempton Park


Type: Grade 1 National Hunt Novices’ Steeplechase

Age Of The Horses: Four Years Old And Up


Distance: 3 Miles

Winner 2019: Slate House

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Page Contents

General Race Info

Runners & Tips

Stats & Trends

Past Winners

Kauto Star Novices’ Chase General Info

Originally known as the Feltham Novices’ Chase, the Kauto Star was renamed in honour of one of the greatest Gold Cup winners we’ve ever seen.

Although arguably not as good as the great Kauto Star, a top winner of this race to have gone on to Cheltenham glory was Coneygree, who managed to win the Gold Cup itself as a novice chaser back in 2015.

The Kauto Star Novices’ Chase 2019 was run as usual at Kempton Park during their King George meeting on Boxing Day, Thursday December 26th, over three miles with 18 fences to be jumped. That year’s renewal was worth £100,000. Lots of bets for much higher cost were made too. If you  

Kauto Star Novices’ Chase Runners & Tips

There are eight Kauto Star Novices’ Chase runners among entries for the race this year. Bookmakers also have prices for these heading for this year’s renewal. Here are the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase runners in 2020:

  1. Enrilo (Paul Nicholls)
  2. Golan Fortune (Phil Middleton)
  3. If The Cap Fits (Harry Fry)
  4. Kalooki (Philip Hobbs)
  5. One For The Team (Nick Williams)
  6. Royale Pagaille (Venetia Williams)
  7. Shan Blue (Dan Skelton)
  8. The Big Breakaway (Colin Tizzard)
  9. The Wolf (Olly Murphy)

Kauto Star Novices’ Chase Stats & Trends

Having been shared out fairly evenly and with no trainer(s) having dominated, the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase 2019 could be taken by just about any yard with a good, young staying chaser on their hands.

With the exception of Long Run (4) and Joe Lively (8), all of our post-millennium winners have been aged 5-7 so that’s the area to concentrate on, but it’s important to note that given the last 18 winners’ subsequent performances at Cheltenham, it may be wise not to concentrate on the horses supposedly leading the way in this division.

That fact is also backed up by the prices of the last 18 winners. 7 favourites have won in that time, but that’s not a great percentage for a Grade 1 race and in fact the average starting price of winners here is more than 5/1 in this time period with winners right up to 12/1, 14/1 and 33/1, so don’t by any means concentrate only on the market leaders when handicapping Kauto Star Novices’ Chase runners.

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Past Kauto Star Novices’ Chase Winners

With such names as Santini and Topofthegame in the 2018 Kauto Star for such top trainers as Nicky Henderson and Paul Nicholls respectively, it was expected by many that they would be fighting out the finish.

Instead though, Warren Greatrex’s 8/1 shot La Bague Au Roi was the one that, having passed 11/10 favourite Santini, who put it up to Topofthegame (5/1) at the last fence, jumping better than his rival before very gamely edging ahead towards the line for a famous win.

He didn’t go on to the Cheltenham Festival, instead heading to Ireland and then Aintree, but plenty of others have as we see here in the list of all Kauto Star Novices’ Chase winners since the turn of the millennium.

Year Winner Age Jockey Trainer Festival Performance
2020 Shan Blue 6 Harry Skelton Dan Skelton Did not race
2019 Slate House 7 Robbie Power Colin Tizzard 6th in RSA Chase
2018 La Bague Au Roi 7 Richard Johnson Warren Greatrex Did not race
2017 Black Corton 6 Bryony Frost Paul Nicholls 5th in RSA Chase
2016 Royal Vacation 6 Paddy Brennan Colin Tizzard Pulled-up in RSA Chase
2015 Tea For Two 6 Lizzie Kelly Nick Williams Did not race
2014 Coneygree 7 Nico de Boinville Mark Bradstock 1st in Gold Cup
2013 Annacotty 5 Ian Popham Martin Keighley 8th in RSA Chase
2012 Dynaste 6 Tom Scudamore David Pipe 2nd in Jewson Novices’
2011 Grands Crus 6 Tom Scudamore David Pipe 4th in RSA Chase
2010 No Race - - - -

What Happened in 2020?

Trainer-jockey brothers Dan and Harry Skelton pulled off a Kempton Boxing Day double thanks to Third Time Lucki in a novice hurdle and then Shan Blue completing his hat-trick over fences in the Grade 1 Kauto Star Novices’ Chase. This was another fluent performance from the dual Wetherby winner stepping up markedly in class. Shan Blue raced prominently throughout and jumped best of all. Sent off the 7/4 favourite, his supporters never had an anxious moment despite pressure in the home straight from main market rival The Big Breakaway. A mistake by Colin Tizzard’s 16/5 chance under Robbie Power at the last ensured victory for Shan Blue, who scored by 3¾ lengths in convincing fashion.

The front two pulled almost four lengths further clear of the rallying If The Cap Fits, who raced in rear for much of the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase and then picked off tiring pacier horses. Harry Fry’s useful staying hurdler just took third on the run to the line at 4/1 from 40/1 rank outsider Golan Fortune from the Phil Middleton stable. If The Cap Fits was never going the pace to challenge Shan Blue, however, with Nick Williams inmate One For The Team (18/1) the last of five to complete. Both Paul Nicholls runner Enrilo (6/1) and Phillip Hobbs’ Kalooki (12/1) got pulled before the third last.