Leopardstown’s Arkle Novice Chase next on Vautour’s agenda

Vautour could try to get his season back in track in the Frank Ward Solicitors Arkle Novice Chase at Leopardstown at the end of the month.

Leopardstown’s Arkle Novice Chase next on Vautour’s agenda

Last season’s brilliant Supreme Novices’ Hurdle winner made a foot-perfect start to his career over fences at Navan in November, but was well beaten by Clarcam in the Racing Post Novice Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas.

The six-year-old made a bad mistake five fences from home but Mullins is hopeful his charge can bounce back from that 17-length defeat on his next start.

“He wasn’t moving well on the day at Leopardstown. No real problem showed up afterwards and it was probably a bit of a tight muscle,” said the champion trainer.

“I gave him an easy time after the race and hopefully we can get him back to where he was.

“The Arkle at Leopardstown is a possible next race for him.”

Jamie Moore feels Sire De Grugy is stronger than ever ahead of his imminent return to action in the Game Spirit Chase at Newbury on February 7.

The nine-year-old has not run yet this season due to a setback, but his work will step up a gear this week as Moore’s father Gary gears him up for an eagerly-anticipated clash with Sprinter Sacre at Cheltenham in March.

“He’ll be going upsides on Wednesday morning when he’ll do his first proper bit of work,” the jockey told Betfred TV.

“The reason I was so gutted about his injury was that I honestly thought for the life of me that he was working even better than last year.

“His work building up towards the Shloer Chase was better than at any time last year.

“The little operation he had in the summer, getting the chips out of his ankles, I think has helped him an incredible amount and I really do think he’ll do everything we ask of him this year.

“He’ll be pretty hard fit (for the Game Spirit), he will improve a bit but he was 90% match fit and then he had four weeks walking. I honestly thought we could have had him ready for the Clarence House.

“He’ll be ready for the Game Spirit, he’ll be ready for that no worries. If he got beat in the Game Spirit we’d still run in the Queen Mother, we won’t wrap him in cotton wool. If he gets beaten he gets beaten, there’s always another day but I think he’ll be spot on.”

Alan King is likely to aim for back-to-back wins in the four-mile National Hunt Chase with Sego Success after his win at Warwick on Saturday. Having struck with Midnight Prayer in the race for amateur riders at the Cheltenham Festival, King has another likely type on his hands.

“He’s a sound jumper who stays, so the fact they started to race a long way out certainly played to his strengths. He looks the right type for the National Hunt Chase at the Festival.”

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