Vroum Vroum Mag motors to Mares' Hurdle win
Vroum Vroum Mag completed a first-day treble for her connections with a convincing victory in the OLBG Mares' Hurdle at Cheltenham.
The 4-6 shot became the number one for the Willie Mullins stable in this race when Annie Power was switched successfully to the Champion Hurdle.
It was Mullins' eighth consecutive win in the Mares' Hurdle.
Vroum Vroum Mag gave Mullins, owner Rich Ricci and jockey Ruby Walsh their third win on the day after Douvan and Annie Power.
She travelled so well in midfield for Walsh before cruising to the front at the last. She powered up the hill to score by two and three-quarter lengths from Rock On The Moor, with Legacy Gold half a length away third.
Walsh said: "This is a really good mare - we didn't really know how good she might be. I got plenty wide down the back, but she travelled really well. Once the gaps opened when we straightened up it was all over. It's been a great day for us."
Ricci said: "We don't know how good she is, really - she jumps fences as well. We are very lucky."
Mullins said: "Her work during the week was awesome and we all wondered whether we had put the right mare in the Champion Hurdle.
"We just thought coming here today, barring traffic problems or a fall, she would win as her work was just fantastic. Ruby seemed to be cruising all the time. When he picks her up she comes alive. She just keeps working better and better and she's not flashy."
Ricci added: "She could be a Gold Cup mare, but we took her over hurdles this year and we never thought she'd do this. I think she'll be back over fences next year, as I think she looks more like a chaser. Jumping is her strength, as she jumps for fun."
Comparing her to Annie Power, Ricci said: "Someone described this mare as a big buxom brunette, and that fits the bill, whereas Annie Power is more of a tomboy."