Vroum with a view: our experts disagree on where she should run
PICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
Vroum Vroum Mag has just the six options at the Cheltenham Festival, listed below. Here, Racing Post experts mull over the alternatives…
Stan James Champion Hurdle, 2m – shortest price 7-1, longest price 10-1
OLBG Mares’ Hurdle, 2m4f – shortest price 6-4, longest price 11-4
Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase, 2m – shortest price 12-1, longest price 25-1
Ryanair Chase, 2m5f – shortest price 6-1, longest price 25-1
Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle, 3m – shortest price 4-1, longest price 7-1
Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup, 3m2f – shortest price 16-1, longest price 33-1
Nick Watts, Ante-post Focus
I think and expect to see Vroum Vroum Mag in the Mares’ Hurdle, as that’s probably the only race she can win at the festival.
That’s not to disparage the mare, but more that any other option is unsuitable in some way. The Champion Chase, Ryanair and Gold Cup have to be out as she hasn’t raced over fences since November 2015.
She would be outstayed in the Stayers’ Hurdle, her recent form doesn’t entitle her to win a Champion Hurdle – and with Limini having emerged as a possible supplementary entry, her chances in the latter have receded further.
A good tussle between her and Apple’s Jade at Cheltenham would enliven a division that has good intentions but rarely has any depth to it.
James Hill, The Edge
Hopefully she’ll go for the Stayers’. The race badly needs a boost this year and she’d be an obvious threat to Unowhatimeanharry. It would set up an intriguing clash and she’d have strong claims based on her Christmas Hurdle victory this term.
Her trainer said on Wednesday that she could join Limini in the Mares’ Hurdle, which would be surprising given Rich Ricci’s superstars tend to be kept apart, and surely it would make more sense to take in the Stayers’ getting 7lb from the boys (some of whom she’s already beaten) than meeting Limini at levels, perhaps without Ruby Walsh on board.
As for her other entries, she’s probably not up to winning the Champion Hurdle, while the Grade 1 chases would be too risky a task.
Andrew Scutts, news editor
It’s got to be pretty likely that one of Vroum Vroum Mag and Limini will run for Rich Ricci in the Champion Hurdle, and while Vroum Vroum Mag already has an entry, the way Limini beat Apple’s Jade at Punchestown on Wednesday suggests she’s the more viable proposition even if it does cost Ricci £20,000 to supplement her.
This leaves the OLBG Mares’ Hurdle the most likely destination for Vroum Vroum Mag, though arguably the most boring.
You couldn’t say that running over fences is a dead duck; why keep her in the races until now if it’s completely out of the question? The Ryanair would be the best fit here, and the race could do with her. But hurdling must be favourite.
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