Peak conditioning essential if Kauto Star is to run

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Owner Clive Smith only wants Kauto Star to run in the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup if he is at his absolute best.

The remarkable 12-year-old is rated only 50-50 to be fit for the Festival after suffering a schooling fall last week.

“It’s very sad that it’s happened. We’ve got two weeks tomorrow to get him right if there is a way of getting him right,” he said on Thursday evening.

“I wouldn’t want him to run unless he was well and truly able to give his best. It would be tragic if he wasn’t at his best and had a fall. He’s got to be right.

“His life is more important than trying to win the Gold Cup, so we’ve just got to see how he is.

“He’s got to make massive improvement, but there’s still a chance. He’s still very sore and Buffy Shirley-Beavan (vet) is looking where he’s got a very sore bruise. He’s been massaged and very well looked after by Paul Nicholls and his team and Clifford Baker.

“We’re just trying to get him right. He has improved every day since it happened last Friday. He could improve a lot from this point. He’s very fit, but his bruises have got to be put right, then he might be fit enough to run.”

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