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RUBY WALSH: Relive Kauto Star’s memorable fifth King George win on Irishman’s birthday

All-time Cheltenham Festival winning jockey Ruby Walsh steered Kauto Star to five King George victories



Kauto Star

Ruby Walsh celebrates his 42nd birthday today and there’s no more fitting tribute to pay than the Irishman’s win in the King George aboard the great Kauto Star back in 2011 – the gelding’s fifth success in the contest.

The legendary son of Village Star, who won 20 of his 36 career starts, secured five victories from his six outings at the Sunbury-on-Thames track for handler Paul Nicholls between 2006 and 2011, cruising to Christmas glory under Walsh on the quintet of occasions.


His only King George loss was in January 2011, when he was beaten by Long Run and Riverside Theatre under AP McCoy.

C9GKCD 26.12.2011 Sunbury, England. (L-R) Ruby Walsh and Kauto Star (FR), Owner Clive Smith and Trainer Paul Nicholls celebrate winning in the parade ring after the 15:10 William Hill King George VI Chase (Grade 1) (Class 1), part of The William Hill Winter Festival on Boxing Day at Kempton Park Racecourse
Ruby Walsh and Kauto Star (FR), Owner Clive Smith and Trainer Paul Nicholls celebrate winning in the parade ring after the King George VI Chase at Kempton Park Racecourse

Speaking to Paddy Power, Walsh saluted Kauto Star: “I was delighted to win a second Gold Cup in 2009 – it’s the biggest race of the year – but I didn’t give myself an extra pat on the back because I stuck with Kauto Star.

“It was brilliant to be on his back, and he was some racehorse. Even when he came back to win a fifth King George in 2011… he was a horse that I loved.

Ruby Walsh, who rode both horses, enjoyed many great battles on Kauto Star, most notably with his brilliant stable-mate, Denman

“You think about some of the hard races he had, and some of the falls he took… the race he had behind Denman, when he was flat to the boards and not on his A game, he ran himself into the ground and still came back the following year. He was an incredible athlete.”

Dominic Chapman is senior content writer at Low6 with a passion for horse racing. He provides a NAP and NB every day throughout the week on selected National Hunt and Flat cards in both Britain and Ireland. Additionally, he hosts the Paddock Picks Podcast with former Welsh Grand National-winning pilot, Charlie Poste - the pair interviewing and discussing current racing topics with a special guest every week.