Willie Mullins’s Arkle plans far from finalised

Ruby Walsh has no fears Cheltenham occasion will trouble free-wheeling Un De Sceaux

Ruby Walsh has not ruled out the possibility of a mouth-watering Arkle Trophy clash between Willie Mullins's two star novices, Un De Sceaux and Vautour.

Vautour is already favourite for the JLT over two and a half miles at the Cheltenham festival while Un De Sceaux is an odds-on market leader for the Arkle after a brilliant success at Leopardstown last Sunday.

"It wouldn't be a done deal that Vautour goes for the JLT," said Walsh. "He's entered in both and I've no doubt he'd get two and a half in the JLT. But he also has the pace to follow Un De Sceaux. That's up to Willie and Rich Ricci (Vautour's owner) to decide."

Ireland’s champion jockey was hugely impressed by Un De Sceaux’s latest victory though and ruled out any fears the occasion could get to the free-wheeling front runner at Cheltenham.


"I don't think the crowd will bother him, or the track either," he said. "He's been to France twice. I know that's not the same as Cheltenham but the travelling obviously won't bother him."

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor is the racing correspondent of The Irish Times. He also writes the Tipping Point column