Sunday 15 December 2019

Ruby Walsh retains faith in Vautour

Ruby Walsh believes any questions over Vautour's stamina can only be answered if he runs in the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup.

A winner at the last two Festivals over two miles and an extended two and a half, he was beaten in a photo-finish to the King George VI Chase over three miles at Kempton.

Some suggested a lack of stamina was to blame for that eclipse, but Walsh felt the evidence was inconclusive, although he is certain Vautour is better on a left-handed track.

"I thought he ran a blinder," he told Racing UK.

"He jumped a little to his left and if I was to ride it again, I probably would have sat a little bit longer on the bend going to the third-last, but I rode him according to the feel he was giving me.

"I thought I had plenty of horse left to go and win the race from there, but Cue Card found plenty for pressure and chinned me.

"I don't think Vautour lost a whole pile in defeat, it was a huge improvement on his Ascot run and it's onwards and upwards.

"You'd have to think he'd be better at Cheltenham. He did jump a little to his left, nothing too bad to throw it away, but just a fraction so you'd imagine left-handed would be an advantage.

"I think he did stay as a couple of strides after the line he was back in front.

"Whether he'll get three and a quarter, I don't think you can answer that question until you try it."

PA Media

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