Navan: Vautour brilliant on Chasing debut
Supreme Novice Hurdle winner Vautour made an extremely impressive start to his Chasing career, romping to victory in the 2m 1f Beginner’s Chase. Willie Mullins’ 5yo put in a foot perfect jumping display under Ruby Walsh and must now have connections drooling with the thoughts of an exciting season ahead.
Unbeaten in five starts since joining the Mullins juggernaut last season, Vautour’s stand out performance came when impressively making all to record an easy victory in the Supreme last March. He followed that up with another cozy win in the Irish Champion Novice Hurdle at Punchestown but connections had always been excited about sending the son of Robin Des Champs over the larger obstacles.
That day eventually came today and having been sent off the 2/11 favourite never gave supporters a minutes worry, putting in a slick round of jumping before easing clear to record an 8 length win.
Vautour was cut to 5/1 for the Arkle and 7/2 favourite for the JLT Novice’s Chase in the aftermath.
“He jumped well and it’s nice to see him pass his first test. I don’t think he could have jumped any better,” said Mullins.
“The fourth last was the only fence he got a bit close to and I’d give him the benefit of the doubt because of the sun. For a novice he handled it well.
“Ruby asked him after the second last and I was delighted the way he jumped the last after changing gear.
“The obvious thing is to go for the two-mile one Grade One novice chase at Leopardstown over Christmas.
“We’ll see if there’s something before that or whether we wait for that, I don’t know.
“His dam won from mile and a half to three miles and being Robin Des Champs there’s no reason why he won’t stay.”
By Kevin Walsh / Photo: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
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