Willie Mullins: Vautour very well ahead of King George

Willie Mullins is confident Vautour’s jumping will not be an issue in the William Hill King George VI Chase at Kempton.

Willie Mullins: Vautour very well ahead of King George

The Cheltenham winner’s comeback victory at Ascot last month was workmanlike rather than spectacular, with his tendency to edge left at several fences considered by many as a major negative as he prepares to tackle another right-handed circuit in the St Stephen’s Day showpiece.

At a specially arranged media morning at his Closutton based in County Carlow, however, Mullins cut a content and confident figure.

He said: “I never worry about what’s in the race, I always worry about getting there and just hope for the best.

“Him jumping left-handed is new, he did it at Ascot but I’ve never noticed it before, it hadn’t been something I’ve worried about.

“I think in a different run race, where he doesn’t have to lead, it wouldn’t be an issue.

“He hasn’t schooled since but he will do. He’s well able to jump.

“I think he’s very well, he worked very well here yesterday, I’ve had no worry.

“When I saw what he did yesterday I only hope he can repeat that at Kempton.

“All ours were big having their first run, we’d left something to work on, and there’s lots of improvement to come from all of them.

“I’m very happy with how the whole yard is at the moment.”

The champion trainer is set to be double-handed in the Kempton feature, with the Gigginstown House Stud-owned Valseur Lido being readied to join his stable companion on the trip across the Irish Sea.

While Vautour is vying for favouritism, Valseur Lido is as big as 33-1, but Mullins sees him as a lively outsider.

“It looks like three miles around there (Kempton) will really suit him. We had a chat the other day about the Lexus and it looks like they (Gigginstown) have enough for that, so all being well he’ll be heading to Kempton,” said Mullins.

“I see he’d be one of the outsiders, but he’d be no 33-1 shot.”

Valseur Lido, runner-up to another stablemate in Djakadam in the John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase, looks set to be the second-string of two King George runners for Gigginstown, along with Gordon Elliott’s Don Cossack. Mullins confirmed his intention to field two runners in the Lexus Chase for the leading owners in Don Poli and Sir Des Champs.

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