Cheltenham Festival news: Vroum Vroum Mag cut for Ryanair glory


David Metcalf | February 3, 2016

Vroum Vroum Mag all the rage for Ryanair

Vroun Vroum Mag is 4/1 (from 10s) with Coral for the 2m 5f Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival on Thursday, March 17th, after trainer Willie Mullins said the race was a “possibility” for his exciting mare.

The six-year-old has won six chases and two hurdle races since joining Mullins, and was last successful when easily landing a Grade 2 contest at Sandown.

That success saw her shorten in the ante post markets for the Mares’ Hurdle and World Hurdle at the Festival, but with Ryanair market leaders Vautour and Smad Place heading for the Gold Cup the race now has a wide open look at it and is yet another option for Vroum Vroum Mag.

Vroum Vroum Mag is 3/1 with Coral Mares’ Hurdle and 9/2 for World Hurdle, but there has been hefty support for her in the Ryanair.

Coral spokesman Simon Clare said: “We have seen interesting money for Vroum Vroum Mag, who, with doubts about many of the possible runners including the likes of Vautour, Smad Place and Road To Riches, would be a serious player if pointed towards this race.”

RSA hope More Of That set to swerve Scilly Isles

More Of That, 4/1 second-favourite with Coral for the RSA Chase at Cheltenham on March 16th, is likely to miss the Grade 1 Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase at Sandown on Saturday as his regular jockey Barry Geraghty will be required to ride in Ireland.

The Jonjo O’Neill trained gelding, who won the World Hurdle 2014, has won both his starts over fences in the manner of a very exciting prospect and was among 14 entries revealed yesterday for the showpiece contest.

However, O’Neill today said he was an unlikely starter as Geraghty will be claimed to ride at Leopardstown on Saturday and he doesn’t want to break the excellent partnership he has with the eight-year-old ahead of his tilt at the RSA.

More of That is now likely to head to Kempton or Newbury for his final prep race.

Time running out for Simonsig

Trainer Nicky Henderson had admitted that the next few weeks will be “crucial” for Simonsig if he is to line-up at the Cheltenham Festival.

The 10-year-old has only run once since winning the Arkle in 2013, and shaped as if retaining plenty of ability when chasing home Bobs Worth over hurdles at Aintree in November.

However, the grey has since suffered more problems and Henderson is facing an uphill battle to get him right in time for a crack at either the Queen Mother Champion Chase or Ryanair Chase, for which he priced up at 10/1 and 12/1 respectively with Coral.

Henderson told At The Races: “We’re just going to have to bide our time and see how it goes. We’ve been fighting an uphill battle for quite a while now and we’re just about sort of at decision time to say we either can or we can’t.

“He looks great, but his skeletal design – I don’t know, he must have been put together on a Friday night. They’ve put the engine in and forgot to give him the body to carry it.

“When it’s going it’s unbeatable and we were seeing all that early on in the year, but it’s been terrible stop-start. The next few weeks are crucial.”


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