Grand National Festival: Vautour has Melling Chase at his mercy
David Metcalf | April 6, 2016
Mullins raider Vautour a cut-above Melling rivals
Vautour looks a worthy red-hot favourite to land the Grade 1 JLT Melling Chase (15:25) on day two of Aintree’s Grand National Festival.
Trained in Ireland by Willie Mullins, the seven-year-old is a triple Cheltenham Festival winner, having scooped the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle in 2014, the JLT Novices’ Chase in 2015, and this year’s Ryanair Chase in impressive fashion.
Vautour looked awesome in the latter, travelling ominously well on the heels of the leaders before taking up the lead and crusing clear two from home.
This gelding then barely had to come out of second gear to saunter up the hill and beat Valseur Lido by six lengths.
Vautour was value for much more than the winning margin and it was a sensational display of power and speed.
The son of Robin Des Champs is clearly something very special, and prior to winning at Cheltenham last month had run a stormer when beaten just a head by Cue Card in the King George over 3m at Kempton on Boxing Day.
Vautour looked all over the winner until getting tired close home, and the 2m 4f trip of this contest is absolutely ideal.
Not surprisingly Vautour has scared off the opposition, and the race looks his for the taking granted a clear round.
Al Ferof the forecast choice
For those looking for one to chase him home, Al Ferof looks the obvious choice.
The Dan Skelton trained 11-year-old looked as good as ever when scoring by 40 lengths on seasonnal reappearance, and was far from disgraced when third in the King George.
Al Ferof also ran well when a 7 3/4 length fourth to Vautour in the Ryanair, but it’s impossible to see any reason why he will reverse the form.
However, the grey gelding will give it is best shot and looks the only conceivable danger to the red-hot favourite.
For more tips from the Grand National Festival, visit the Aintree page.
Coral’s top tip: Vautour is a class act and the Melling Chase looks his for the taking, granted a clear round. Al Ferof can chase him home.