Vautour Smelling Victory In Melling Chase
We saw two absolutely scintillating efforts from Apples Jade and Annie Power yesterday on the opening day of the Grand National meeting and it would be a major shock if we don’t see something similar from Vautour in the Melling Chase today.
Prior to the Cheltenham Festival there were even some doubts whether or not Vautour (2/7) would even line up at the meeting but when he did take his chance in the Ryanair Chase he certainly justified the decision of Willie Mullins to reroute him from the Gold Cup as he was an easy six-lengths to good for his stable companion Valseur Lido and Road To Riches.
Veterans Al Ferof (5/1) and Somersby (33/1) just won’t be able to live with Vautour
and if I had to pick one to follow him home it would be 14/1 shot God’s Own who was fourth in the Champion Chase last time.
Gordon Elliott won the race last year with Don Cossack and Clarcam (50/1) is his representative this time around. Clarcam landed Grade One honours at this meeting 12-months ago, but even Elliott himself described Vautour as a “penalty kick” when speaking about the race yesterday.
Like so many people I was a big fan of Limini going into Cheltenham and she didn’t do anything there that would make you change your mind but taking on the geldings in the Imagine Cruising First In The Frame Top Novices’ Hurdle is a big ask and maybe her price of 6/4 is a bit short. It would be no surprise if she extended her winning sequence…
but surely Ball D’arc has to represent some each-way value at 14/1.
He wasn’t at Cheltenham which is a plus and he has been impressive on his last two starts although he would have to be against that calibre of opposition if he is to be contesting a race like this.
Elliott proves time and time again how good he is at producing horses at these meetings and while he may have to give best to Limini hopefully he’ll be in the first three at least.
*Prices correct at time of publication.