Cheltenham Festival: Vautour switched out of Gold Cup

Vautour was one of the contenders to win the Gold Cup
Cheltenham Festival 2016
Dates: Tuesday, 15 to Friday, 18 March Big races: Tue - Champion Hurdle, Wed - Champion Chase, Thu - World Hurdle, Fri - Gold Cup
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Vautour will run in Thursday's Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival rather than Friday's prestigious Gold Cup.

The seven-year-old's owner Rich Ricci said the switch was based on the form of the Willie Mullins-trained horse.

"I know we talked about whether he would go for the Gold Cup, that's been our intention all year," Ricci told Channel 4.

"But it's a very difficult race and if he's only 90% then we don't want to ruin the horse."

He added: "We feel the Ryanair is the best alternative. It's not ideal but it's still a great race, it's a Grade One."

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