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Lancashire Chase Legends: Kauto Star, Silviniaco Conti and Cue Card

| 22.11.2018

Who will follow in their footsteps this year?

Racing fans will be treated to a rematch of the Cheltenham Gold Cup at Haydock on Saturday after Native River and Might Bite were both left in for the Lancashire Chase.

The two favourites will be joined by Bristol De Mai, Thistlecrack and rank outsider Clan Des Obeaux in a star-studded field for the 3m 1f slog. There’s not much to go off in terms of trends with such a small field. So we’ve looked back at three of the legends of the Lancashire Chase ahead of the race.

Kauto Star (2006, 2007, 2009, 2011)

Paul Nicholls saddles the rank outsider this time around in Clan Des Obeaux. But the 56-year-old is the leading trainer in this renewal with six wins to his name. Four of those came between 2006 and 2011 with the legendary Kauto Star.

Ruby Walsh partnered the French-bred raider to three of his four Lancashire Chase successes, doing so at odds of 10/11 first time around in 2006. That victory provided the springboard to almost immeasurable success for the one-time Stayers Triple Crown winner.

The son of Village Star would go onto win two Gold Cups, five editions of the King George VI Chase and a pair of Tingle Creek Chase successes alongside numerous other accolades.

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Silviniaco Conti (2012, 2014)

You would’ve been forgiven for thinking that Nicholls’ dominance at Haydock might’ve been over following the retirement of Kauto Star in October 2012. Silviniaco Conti ensured that wasn’t the case.

The then-six-year-old stayed on well to defeat Long Run in 2012 before drawing away from Menorah two years later to cement his place as a dual-winner of the event.

Much like Kauto Star, Conti’s first Lancashire Chase victory provided the springboard to greater success over fences. A pair of King George wins followed in 2013 and 2014, alongside two successive jaunts in the Aintree Bowl.  All three of his Gold Cup attempts, however, ended in failure.

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Cue Card (2013, 2015, 2016)

All of Cue Card’s Lancashire Chase victories came in ultra-impressive fashion. His first in 2013 saw the 9/1 shot take on the likes of Bobs Worth, Long Run, Tidal Bay and the Silviniaco Conti. He made all from the fourth fence onwards to win by just over 4l.

His second was an effortless triumph. After landing the Charlie Hall for the first time, Cue Card disposed of Silviniaco Conti by 7l with an effortless display around Haydock. A first – and only – victory in the King George followed a month later.

That was arguably his finest hour. But there was still two more big dates to come for the son of King’s Theatre. Colin Tizzard’s charge beat Coneygree by a massive 15l on reappearance in the Lancashire Chase the following year before going onto win a first Aintree Bowl as a 10-year-old.

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Nick Murphy