Posted: Wednesday October 31, 2012 11:18 AM

Steeplechase great Kauto Star retires

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LONDON (AP) - Kauto Star, the steeplechase great who won the Cheltenham Cup twice and the King George VI Chase five times, has run his last race.

"The end of an era has finally arrived,'' trainer Paul Nicholls said Wednesday in announcing the 12-year-old horse will retire.

Kauto Star was pulled up midway through last season's Gold Cup, and Nicholls and owner Clive Smith had been considering his future.

"Clive was here this morning, and we have taken the decision to retire Kauto Star,'' Nicholls said.

They had previously considered giving Kauto Star one last run in the King George at Kempton on Dec. 26.

Kauto Star won 16 Grade 1 races, including four Betfair Chases.

"We have had nine superb years with the horse but, after seeing him in his work these past few weeks, (we) were of the opinion that the time had arrived to retire him,'' Nicholls said. "Sometimes, you have to listen to your head and your heart, and both told me that retirement was the only option.''
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