Sunday 25 September 2016

Willie Mullins' Vautour heads six-strong field for Melling Chase at Aintree

Published 06/04/2016 | 11:56

Vautour ridden by jockey Ruby Walsh on the way to winning the Ryanair Chase Photo: David Davies/PA Wire
Vautour ridden by jockey Ruby Walsh on the way to winning the Ryanair Chase Photo: David Davies/PA Wire

Vautour will face just five rivals as he bids to supplement his Ryanair Chase success in the JLT Melling Chase at Aintree on Friday.

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Willie Mullins' top-class performer won for the third year running at the Cheltenham Festival when justifying the switch from the Timico Gold Cup to the shorter event.

He was a convincing six-length scorer and will be odds-on to make his first visit to Merseyside a successful one.

The Dan Skelton-trained Al Ferof, who was fourth in the Ryanair, and Paul Nicholls' Vibrato Valtat, who fell, re-oppose.

Tom George's God's Own and the Mick Channon-trained Somersby ran with credit in the Queen Mother Champion Chase when fourth and fifth respectively. They step up to two and a half miles.

Completing the half a dozen runners is the Gordon Elliott-trained Clarcam, who won the Grade One Manifesto Novices' Chase over this course and distance a year ago with Vibrato Valtat back in second place.

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