Kauto Star, owned by Clive Smith and trained by Paul Nicholls in Ditcheat, Somerset, was today hailed as one of the greatest steeplechasers in a generation, and named as Horse of the Year at the second annual Anglo-Irish Jump Racing Awards in central London.
In addition to the main honour, the seven-year-old landed three further Awards as Champion Two-Mile, Two-and-a-Half-Mile and Three-Mile + Chaser. He was also recognised as winner of the 2006/07 Racing UK Order of Merit, following a campaign that saw him record six straight victories, over a range of distances, at six different racecourses. His season culminated with success in the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Mighty Man was Champion Two-and-a-Half Mile + Hurdler for a second successive season, while Hardy Eustace and Sublimity were joint Champion Two-Mile Hurdlers. The prolific Katchit and Denman were Champion Novice Hurdler and Chaser respectively.
The Awards were held by the British Horseracing Board and Irish Turf Club, and based on and coinciding with the publication of the Anglo-Irish National Hunt Classifications. A specially-invited audience of over 230, including leading owners, trainers, jockeys, industry figures and media from Britain and Ireland were in attendance. The event was co-hosted by leading broadcasters Clare Balding and Brian Gleeson, and the Awards presented by BHB Chairman Paul Roy and Senior Steward of the Irish National Hunt Steeplechase Committee John Moloney.
The full list of Award winners was as follows:
Champion Novice Hurdler – Katchit
Champion Novice Chaser – Denman
Champion Two-Mile Hurdler – Hardy Eustace and Sublimity
Champion Two-Mile Chaser – Kauto Star
Champion Two-and-a-Half-Mile + Hurdler – Mighty Man
Champion Two-and-a-Half-Mile Chaser – Kauto Star
Champion Three-Mile + Chaser – Kauto Star
British Champion Conditional – Tom O’Brien
British Champion Jockey – Tony McCoy
British Champion Trainer – Paul Nicholls
British Champion Owner – J P McManus
Horse of the Year – Kauto Star
The formal presentations for the Racing UK Order of Merit saw £300,000 in prize money handed out. Mighty Man claimed £25,000 for third place, Exotic Dancer collected £75,000 for second place, and Kauto Star’s overall prize was £200,000. Each of the amounts was split 75% to the owner, 12.5% to the trainer and 12.5% to the stable team behind each horse.
BHB Chairman Paul Roy said: “This, like so many others over the 2006/07 season, was Kauto Star’s day. Horses like him do not come along very often, and are to be cherished. To be top-rated in every distance category is an outstanding achievement, and he was a unanimous choice as Horse of the Year. The Awards are a great celebration of Jump Racing, and the close bond between Britain and Ireland.”
Irish National Hunt Steeplechase Committee Senior Steward John Moloney said: “It has been another wonderful year for National Hunt racing both in Ireland and in Britain. We are delighted to co-host this prestigious awards scheme which once again highlights the fact that when it comes to National Hunt racing in these islands there are no country barriers. We are all partners in this wonderful sport of ours and that is perhaps the real secret of its success.”