Before lighting up the jump racing world with four victories in the King George and two successes in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Kauto Star started on the road to super stardom with a pair of triumphs in the Tingle Creek at Sandown.
Kauto Star was much hyped ahead of the first of these successes and similar levels of expectations are now surrounding his sibling – half brother Kauto Stone.
Comparisons between the duo have become more unavoidable since Kauto Stone won on his first start since joining the yard of Paul Nicholls and his first run on British soil when hosing up at Down Royal earlier in November.
The Cheltenham Gold Cup and other such stamina tests over 3m+ are likely to be the long-term plan for Kauto Stone, but it seems that he is to be handed a surprise chance over a much shorter distance first.
Kauto Stone is one of 11 entrants for the Tingle Creek over 2m and alongside Tataniano is bidding to give Nicholls a seventh straight success in the Sandown showpiece.
However, it seems that Nicholls will only run one of the duo, with the weather influencing the final decision.
If the rain stays away and ground is good, Tataniano will take part, but if conditions become softer and slightly more of a stamina test, then Kauto Stone will be handed the chance to take on his elders, which include last season’s Champion Chase winner over 2m at the Cheltenham Festival – Sizing Europe.
Tataniano is largely expected to feature and is currently 3/1 to win the Tingle Creek, just behind 5/2 favourite Sizing Europe.
Kauto Stone is 6/1 at present, but this price is almost certain to shorten should his place in the field be confirmed.