Vautour in late switch from Cheltenham Gold Cup to Ryanair Chase

Owner Rich Ricci confirmed the news this morning.

Horse Racing - 2015 Cheltenham Festival - St Patrick's Day - Cheltenham Racecourse Ruby Walsh winning last year's Novices' Chase at Cheltenham with Vautour. PA Archive / Press Association Images PA Archive / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

VAUTOUR WILL NOT run in this year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup, it has been confirmed this morning.

The Willie Mullins-trained seven-year-old was due to take part in Friday’s feature race, but will instead contest the Ryanair Chase on Thursday.

Speaking on Channel Four’s The Morning Line, owner Rich Ricci said: ”Vautour hasn’t been pulling up trees in his work. The Gold Cup is very difficult – even at 90 per cent. We don’t want to ruin him.”

“The Ryanair is the best alternative. It’s a weaker race and not as tough.”

Ricci still has last year’s runner-up Djakadum in the Gold Cup, which will now be ridden by Ruby Walsh.

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