Laura Collett has told H&H she hopes to get Kauto Star out competing this year.

“It’s been a slow process as he came straight from training but he’s almost ready,” she said.

“He’s been easy to retrain, it’s just developing muscles in different places which has taken a while. He’s strengthened up a lot physically now.

We’re going to play it by ear, go to a few shows and see how it goes. It’s all about him enjoying himself.”

The 14-year-old, who won the King George VI Chase a record five times, paraded at Kempton before fans on Boxing Day.

Kauto Star parades 7   26-12-13

“He was quite fresh when he was parading,” said Laura. “But he was fine when I was riding him up the racetrack, which was a relief as I wasn’t sure how he’d react being back there!”

And Kauto proved himself to be in rude health, throwing in a buck or two in the paddock.

Kauto Star parades 3  26-12-13

“He’s always been the people’s horse, it’s nice they still like to see him out,” added Laura.

“I think his fans like it when he does a little buck as it shows he’s feeling well and full of himself. He’s like a 4-year-old in his mind still.”