Originally known as the Feltham Novices' Chase, The Kauto Star Novices' Chase is the first Grade One race to be staged during the Christmas Festival at Kempton Park Racecourse.

The race was named in honour of Kauto Star in 2012. The legendary horse won the Gold Cup twice for Paul Nicholls, and lifted the King George VI Chase trophy at Kempton on a record five occasions.

It was only befitting that Kempton should acknowledge his contribution to the race’s history.

Famous trainers like Fred Winter, Fulke Walwyn and David Elsworth have all trained winners of the Feltham/Kauto Star. Nicky Henderson won this Grade One for the first time in 1990, and has gone on to saddle the winner four times since.

Nicky Henderson's most recent winner in this came in 2009 when Sam Waley-Cohen scored aboard Long Run. The same horse would go on to beat Kauto Star in the King George in 2011, and again in the Cheltenham Gold Cup that same season.

AP McCoy was successful on three occasions, riding winners for Martin Pipe, Henrietta Knight and Charlie Egerton.

Coneygree won the Kauto Star in 2014. Mark Bradstock's star horse then became the first novice to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup in the following March.

Popular winners in recent times have included, the grey Dynaste who won under Tom Scudamore in 2012 and Tea For Two, who helped Lizzie Kelly become the first female jockey to ride a Grade One winner on British soil when they brought home the silverware in 2015.

The top three quickest run Kauto Star Novices Chase over the last 20 renewals are:

  • 2016 - Royal Vacation (5:54.20)

  • 2003 - Strong Flow (5:57.00)

  • 2020 - Shan Blue (5:58.85)

The slowest was in 2007 when Joe Lively won in a time of 6:27.80.

Kauto Star Winners

  • 2020 - (5:58.85) Shan Blue (IRE) 6-y-o 11-7 7/4F (Harry Skelton/Dan Skelton)

  • 2019 - (6:17.15) Slate House (IRE) 7-y-o 11-7 3/1 (Robbie Power/Colin Tizzard)

  • 2018 - (6:01.50) La Bague Au Roi (FR) 7-y-o 11-0 8/1 (Richard Johnson/Warren Greatrex)

  • 2017 - (6:09.40) Black Corton (FR) 6-y-o 11-7 4/1 (Bryony Frost/Paul Nicholls)

  • 2016 - (5:54.20) Royal Vacation (IRE) 6-y-o 11-7 33/1 (Paddy Brennan/Colin Tizzard)

  • 2015 - (6:10.00) Tea For Two (GB) 6-y-o 11-7 9/4 (Lizzie Kelly/Nick Williams)

  • 2014 - (6:07.70) Coneygree (GB) 7-y-o 11-7 100/30 (Nico de Boinville/Mark Bradstock)

  • 2013 - (6:17.10) Annacotty (IRE) 5-y-o 11-7 12/1 (Ian Popham/Martin Keighley)

  • 2012 - (6:25.20) Dynaste (FR) 6-y-o 11-7 8/13F (Tom Scudamore/David Pipe)

  • 2011 - (6:02.20) Grands Crus (FR) 6-y-o 11-7 6/5F (Tom Scudamore/David Pipe)

  • Age: 9 of the last 10 winners were aged either 6 or 7. Annacotty was aged 5 in 2013.

  • Price: 4 of the last 10 favourites have won, 8/10 winners came from the top three in the horse racing betting.

  • Last Run: 8 of the last 10 winners won on their last run before the Kauto Star Novices Hurdle, 10/10 winners ran within the last 57 days. 3/10 winners ran in the Berkshire Novices Chase (Newbury) on their last run, 3 of the 3 won.

  • Previous Course Form: 4/10 winners had at least one previous run at Kempton, 4/10 winners had at least one previous win at Kempton.

  • Previous Distance Form: 9/10 winners had at least two previous runs over 23-25 furlongs, 9/10 had at least one previous win over 23-25 furlongs.

  • Previous Chase Form: 9/10 winners had at least two previous chase runs, 10/10 winners had at least one previous chase win, 7/10 winners had at least two previous chase wins.

  • Rating: 8/10 winners were rated 146 or higher.

  • Graded Wins: 6/10 winners had at least one previous win in a Grade 1-3 race.

  • Season Form: 10/10 winners had at least two runs that season, 10/10 winners had at least one win that season, 7/10 winners had at least two wins that season.

Leading Trainers

Two trainers lead the way in the Kauto Star Novices Chase over the last 20 renewals, those being Paul Nicholls and Colin Tizzard who have both won the race three times.

Paul Nicholls winners were Strong Flow (2003), Breedsbreeze (2008) & Black Corton (2017), with Colin Tizzard’s scorers being Joe Lively (2007), Royal Vacation (2016) and Slate House (2019).

Check out Nicholls’ latest contenders in our Paul Nicholls Stable Tour.

Other trainers who have recorded multiple wins in the Kauto Star Novices Chase are Nicky Henderson (2 wins) & David Pipe (2 wins).

Leading Jockeys

The leading jockey in the Kauto Star Novices Chase over the last 20 years is Tom Scudamore who has won the race twice with Grands Crus (2011) and Dynaste (2012).

Unfortunately, to a £1 level stake you would be -£4.18 from Scudamore’s eight rides in the contest.

Paddy Brennan has ridden in this race three times and his profit to £1 is +£31.00. Nico de Boinville, Bryony Frost, Robbie Power and Mr Sam Waley-Cohen are all in positive figures too.

Cold jockeys in this include Sam Twiston-Davies, Daryl Jacob and Harry Cobden.

Kauto Star 'Trial' Races

There are no real trial races as such but many of the horses from this race head to either the RSA Chase or the Marsh Novice Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

Starting Prices

Looking back over the last 20 renewals, the biggest priced winner was Royal Vacation at 33/1 for Colin Tizzard and Paddy Brennan.

At the head of the market and over the same period there have been a total of 8 winning favourites in the race. Many of those figured prominently in our 888sport horse racing tips.

*Credit for all of the photos in this article belongs to AP Photo*


FIRST PUBLISHED: 21st December 2021

Steven is a sports and horse racing enthusiast and is a member of the Horseracing Writers and Photographers Association (HWPA) in the United Kingdom.

He is a regular visitor to Paris Longchamp for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and a lifelong fan of the Aintree Grand National, a subject he writes about 52 weeks of the year. Last year he reached the impressive milestone of attending the last 30 renewals of the Grand National.