Breaking: Vautour to run in Ryanair Chase and not Cheltenham Gold Cup
Vautour will run in Thursday's Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival rather than waiting for Friday's Timico Gold Cup.
Owner Rich Ricci has confirmed the seven-year-old will line up in the extended two-and-a-half-mile event after failing to really impress in his recent work.
While trainer Willie Mullins has been happier with his form of late, connections feel it best to bypass Friday's feature, in which they also have Djakadam to run in the Ricci colours.
Ricci told Channel 4's The Morning Line: "We've said in recent weeks that he hasn't been pulling up trees in his work, but he's been working better lately.
"We've decided now to run him in the Ryanair - he'll be declared in an hour or so.
"I know we talked about whether he would go for the Gold Cup, that's been our intention all year, but it's a very a difficult race and if he's only 90 per cent right, then we don't want to ruin the horse.
"We feel the Ryanair is the best alternative. It's not ideal but it's still a great race, it's a Grade One."