Vibrato Valtat can serve it up to Vautour in the Ryanair Chase on St.Patrick’s Day

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2.50pm Cheltenham – Vibrato Valtat, 1pt each way at 33/1 William Hill

Owner Rich Ricci dropped the bombshell on Tuesday morning that last year’s JLT Chase winner and King George second Vautour was to sidestep the Cheltenham Gold Cup in favour of a tilt at the easier looking Ryanair Chase option.

Vautour was immediately installed as the odds-on favourite across the board, but Ricci sounded a worrying alarm bell for his backers when he declared his star hasn’t been showing the same flare in his homework as he had before before the Cheltenham Festival last year. So, if he isn’t at his best, surely he is worth taking on and we are not short of options…

Al Ferof is an admirably talented horse but he is an eleven year old now and tends to be at his absolute best first time out. Josses Hill came of age somewhat over fences last time out but his jumping can be a bit wayward.

Paul Nicholls has earmarked the Ryanair Chase for VIBRATO VALTAT for some time now that it has been proved he isn’t quite up to top class form over two miles. However he does have seriously high level form over the minimum trip and given the way he travels, a step up to two miles and five furlongs could bring about even more improvement. Let us not forget he is still only a seven year old.

First time out at Exeter, Vibrato Valtat was very good when winning the Haldon Gold Cup from some solid horses including Third Intention, God’s Own, Dunraven Storm and a below par Sire De Grugy. The Gary Moore horse turned the tables in the Tingle Creek, but the Paul Nicholls trained grey still managed to run a big race in third, pulling six lengths clear of Somersby and fourteen lengths ahead of Mr Mole. It is all very good form and although he was once again one paced behind Un De Sceaux at Ascot last time out, he will still only beaten ten lengths.

At double figure odds, Vibrato Valtat is an unexposed horse at the Ryanair Chase trip and given how young a chaser he still is, there is no reason he couldn’t continue to progress. His jumping is good, he’ll like the ground and a fast pace will suit well. With some luck in running, he’ll be in the shake up.

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