Willie Mullins delighted with Vautour’s Leopardstown workout
Trainer one of many giving Cheltenham Festival runners a spin at Dublin track
Trainer Willie Mullins singled out JLT Novices’ Chase hopeful Vautour for special praise after his post-racing workout at Leopardstown on Saturday. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Leopardstown
Willie Mullins singled out JLT Novices’ Chase hopeful Vautour for special praise after his post-racing workout at Leopardstown.
Vautour was one of a trio of Cheltenham Festival-bound runners to strut their stuff for Mullins, with Gold Cup hopeful Djakadam and Un De Sceaux, who is viewed by many as a banker in the Arkle Trophy, also in action.
Mullins said: “They worked over more or less a mile and a half and jumped a few fences.
“I was very pleased with them and they put in a good round of jumping. Vautour was very good.”
Shark Hanlon admits Hidden Cyclone’s Cheltenham engagement is likely to be dictated by the ground.
The 10-year-old bounced back to winning form with a comfortable success in the Tied Cottage Chase at Punchestown last time and retains entries in the Queen Mother Champion Chase and the Ryanair Chase.
Hidden Cyclone finished second to Dynaste in the two-mile-five-furlong Ryanair last term but having won over two miles last time, soft ground would tempt Hanlon to take the shorter option of the Queen Mother.
He said: “We won’t make a decision yet on him. If it’s soft ground it’ll be more than likely the Queen Mother but if it’s good I’m thinking strongly about the Ryanair.
“Patrick (Mullins) rode him to have someone different on him. I did the same thing last year and he ran well.”
Gordon Elliott was thrilled with his army of Festival aspirants after a good chunk of his yard worked at the Dublin track.
The Meath handler is especially looking forward to big Ryanair Chase hope Don Cossack, who was one of the stand-out names amongst a 17-strong posse of horses.
“I’m very happy with them all,” said Elliott. “They went at half-speed and quickened up the last couple of furlongs.
“We’ll not learn much from that, but it gets them to stretch their legs and they all did it nicely.
“All the lads seemed happy. Once they are all okay, it’s all systems go.
“Don Cossack looks a millions dollars and I’m very happy with him.
“I had Shane McCann on No More Heroes as he’s as good a judge as there is in the yard and he was happy with him.
“Game Changer has an awful lot of speed and worked very well, while I was also happy with Clarcam.
“Hostile Fire is in the Fred Winter and looks well enough weighted.
“Taglietelle goes for the Coral Cup and he stays well.”