Next ten days are crucial in Kauto Star fitness bid

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Ruby Walsh says the next ten days are crucial as to whether Kauto Star runs in the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Paul Nicholls’ stable jockey was aboard the 12-year-old for his schooling fall last week that has left the two-time winner of the race rated as only 50-50 to get to Cheltenham.

Walsh told Racing UK: “It was last Friday morning, we were schooling, pretty routine the same as he’s done every year before the Gold Cup. He was in great form but unfortunately miscalculated one of the last we were going to jump and fell quite heavily. He’d never done that at home. It’s unfortunate, a worry, but is what it is. It’s not great timing but it happened.

“I asked Paul on Saturday how he was and he said he was a bit stiff but he’d cantered down the back of the flat gallop and he’s cantered every day since but they just don’t think he’s right. It’s the Gold Cup he’s going for, you can’t do that half-cocked, and they’re just letting people know.

“It’s two weeks away yet, a lot can happen in 24 hours in a horse’s life, let alone two weeks. Paul says it’s 50-50 and a lot will depend on what happens in the next ten days. Lots of horses get falls, get up and go and win the next day. If he’s right he runs, if he’s not he won’t.”

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