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Vautour has the technique to win at Leopardstown





Willie Mullins believes Vautour's jumping technique will stand him in good stead as he prepares to make his second appearance over fences at Leopardstown next week.

Last season's runaway Supreme Novices' Hurdle hero made a seamless transition to the larger obstacles with a foot-perfect display at Navan last month and will step up to Grade One level for the Racing Post Novice Chase on St Stephen's Day.

The five-year-old is already towards the forefront of ante-posts lists for both the Arkle Trophy and the JLT Novices' Chase at Cheltenham next March.

"Vautour was very impressive at Navan. It's always spectacular when horses stand off a long way at fences, but they need to be just as good in close and he was," said Mullins.

"In the Supreme it was like he went round on rails and I didn't think he could keep it up, but he did.

"He jumped hurdles nicely and seems to jump fences just as well."

Vautour is one of 13 horses in contention for the Racing Post Novice Chase following the latest forfeit stage, with Mullins also responsible for Fairyhouse winners Valseur Lido and Adriana Des Mottes.

Other possible runners include Noel Meade's Chancol, the Enda Bolger-trained Gilgamboa and Clarcam from Gordon Elliott's yard.

Mullins expects it will be about a month before he can even consider getting Annie Power back on the racecourse following her recent setback.


The Rich Ricci-owned mare missed her intended reappearance in the Hatton's Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse after suffering a possible stress fracture, although subsequent scans revealed her injuries were not as serious as first feared.

"Annie is just walking at the moment," said the County Carlow handler.

"She was ready to run and usually they say every day off you need to train them to get back to the same level so we're thinking about a month to get her back to that level."

The six-year-old lost her unbeaten record when second to More Of That in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at Cheltenham in March, before bouncing back with victory in the Mares Champion Hurdle at Punchestown in May.