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Kauto Star makes Cheltenham Gold Cup history

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  • Kauto Star reclaims Gold Cup at Cheltenham with stunning performance
  • Nine-year-old gelding gives jockey Ruby Walsh a perfect ride
  • Irish star Walsh was winning seventh race at the festival this year
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(CNN) -- Kauto Star became the first horse in history to regain the Gold Cup at Cheltenham with an emphatic victory under Ruby Walsh on Friday.

Walsh and Kauto Star returned to the paddock at Cheltenham to a tumultous reception.

Walsh and Kauto Star returned to the paddock at Cheltenham to a tumultous reception.

Walsh, who was winning for the seventh time this week at horseracing's premier steeplechasing event, brought the 7-4 favorite to the front with over two fences to go and was never challenged.

Last year's winner Denman made it a 1-2 for the Paul Nicholls' yard with Exotic Dancer under champion jockey Tony McCoy in third place.

The result reverses last year's placings and although Denman has struggled with a heart problem this season even at his best would have struggled to match his stablemate.

Irish jockey Walsh, who has been in unstoppable form during the four-day festival, paid tribute to Kauto Star after his 13 lengths victory.

"He's the greatest horse I've ever ridden. Two miles, three miles, now two Gold Cups. He's magic, he's a wonder horse," he told Channel Four.

"He was brilliant two out and pinged the last - which is unusual for him - I've had an amazing week and he was the one I wanted to win with. He's a legend."

Nicholls paid compliment to his second-placer who looked unlikely to defend the Gold Cup a few weeks ago.

"What a race Denman ran -- Two weeks ago you'd have drawn stumps. It was a huge run from him and he'll be back next year.

"Kauto Star was fresh, very fit and the ground came right. He's a very good horse."

Queen Elizabeth II, a well-known racing fan, had an entry in the Gold Cup but Barbers Shop faded in the closing stages to finish out of the places.

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