No excuses for Stone

Paul Nicholls has no excuses for Kauto Stone's disappointing run in the King George VI Chase at Kempton.

Having won a Grade One at Down Royal previously hopes were high he could emulate his half-brother Kauto Star by taking the Christmas highlight, but he was pulled up before the third-last.

Nicholls believes his size prevents him from thriving in deep ground and will wait before making a plan.

"I was disappointed with him, but I haven't got any excuses," said the champion trainer.

"Because he's small, it could be that he just struggles to jump out of that very testing ground.

"It's back to the drawing board, and we'll just have to wait until the ground gets better."