Vaniteux the Select choice at Sandown
David Metcalf | April 22, 2016
Vaniteux to land Select Hurdle at Sandown
Vaniteux looks decent value turn over red-hot favourite Vroum Vroum Mag in the Select Hurdle at Sandown (16.45) on Saturday.
The Nicky Henderson trained gelding has always been held in high regard and has developed into a top class novice chaser this season.
Vaniteux has won two of his four starts over the larger obstacles and was still bang in contention and only 1 1/2 lengths behind Douvan when blundering and unseating his rider two from home in the Arkle at the Cheltenham Festival when last seen in action.
It’s fascinating that connections are now switching the seven-year-old back to the smaller obstacles, and Vaniteux had some very useful form to his name over hurdles prior to going chasing.
Solid runs against classy opposition
The son of Voix Du Nord finished a cracking third of 18 to Vautour in the 2014 running Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Festival and also ran well when runner-up to Garde La Victoire under top weight of 11st 12lb in the 2015 Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham.
Vaniteux went on to finish a fine second to The New One in Grade 2 contest at the same venue, before chasing home Rock On Ruby in a similar grade affair at Prestbury Park.
Those runs represent strong form in the context of this Listed contest, and the drying ground is a big plus for Vaniteux.
Vroum Vroum a class act
Vroum Vroum Mag has won six chases and three hurdle races since joining leading Irish trainer Willie Mullins, and is a classy mare who clearly has a big engine.
After landing a Grade 2 contest at this venue, the seven-year-old took the step into Grade 1 company in her stride when landing the Mares’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
Vroum Vroum Mag travelled powerfully throughout before making smooth headway from the rear from home to take up the running approaching the last.
The daughter of Voix Du Nord looked likely to saunter clear but had to be driven right out to the line to beat Rock The World by 2 3/4 lengths.
To my eyes Vroum Vroum Mag didn’t find as much as expected, and the form of the race does not look strong.
She now faces a much stiffer task against the boys, and no easy task trying to give 1lb to Vaniteux.
Coral’s top tip: Vaniteux looks worth a wager to turn over red-hot favourite Vroum Vroum Mag now having his sights lowered significantly.