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vautour vaults over first test

Sent off the 2/11 favourite for his maiden start over fences at Navan yesterday, Vautour is now as short as 7/2 for the Arkle at Chetenham next March with Boylesports after the Supreme Novices' Hurdle winner obliged with plenty of authority and only enhanced his already lofty reputation.

Vautour was the latest big name to be unleashed from the incredibly powerful team of horses handled by Willie Mullins and like Faugheen, Ballycasey, Tell Us More, Douvan and Don Poli on Saturday, he failed to disappoint when making all the running to record an eight-length win.

Mullins reflected: "He jumped well and it's nice to see him pass the first test. I have no immediate plan for him now, I am just trying to get theses horses through their maiden chases and see how they come out of thier races.

"I don't think he could have jumped any better. The sun was coming across at the fourth last which was making it difficult so I would give him the benefit of the doubt there and I thought for a novice out in front on his own like that he handled it very well and when Ruby shook him up to change gear after the second last I was interested to see how he would jump the last and he jumped it very well."

Vautour's success was the second leg of a treble for the champion trainer who also won the first race with the Gigginstown owned Milsean and the last with impressive mare Lyrical Theatre who was scoring for the third time when taking the listed bumper by eight and a half lengths.

Of Milsean, he said: "He looks like he could easily step up in trip and looked big coming here so should improve."

Gigginstown's retained rider Bryan Cooper felt the wrath of the stewards for his ride on Milsean picking up a four-day careless riding ban that sees him miss out on the John Durkan at Punchestown in a fortnight as well as the Grade Two Navan Novice Hurdle card the following Sunday.

Mullins also revealed that Sunday is likely to see him begin the season of Un De Sceaux in the beginners chase at Thurles.

"The plan is to bring Un De Sceaux out on Thursday. It is over a furlong and a half extra than today but there is very little racing coming up this side of Christmas so it's just about getting him out and getting started," Mullins said. "All of Saturday's runners came out of their races well and sometime maybe in the middle of the week we will sit down and look for their next objective."