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Last Updated: 10/01/14 4:16pm
Willie Mullins: Runs leading Sky Bet Supreme fancy
Vautour puts his sky-high reputation on the line against five opponents in the Moscow Flyer Novice Hurdle at Punchestown on Saturday.
Willie Mullins' French import created a big impression when winning a Navan maiden hurdle in early December, and is now the ante-post favourite for the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham after strong support in recent weeks.
Mullins' son, Patrick, hopes for further progress in this Grade Two affair.
He said: "We think he's a bit special. He was very impressive at Navan and he reminds me of Mikael D'Haguenet in the way he won his maiden hurdle.
"We'd be disappointed if he got beaten, albeit it is a good race, but we'd be hopeful that he'd be able to win it."
Chicagoopened his hurdling account at the third attempt at Limerick's Christmas meeting, but trainer Pat Shanahan fears the Mullins hotpot.
He said: "Willie's horse looked very good at Navan and the horse that was second, Lieutenant Colonel, came back and won very well on his next start.
"My horse is well, though, and he came out of Limerick good. I've been happy with his work and his schooling since.
"Making the running suited him the last day but he got a 'freebie' as there was no one near him. He enjoyed it as he jumped better in front."
Meanwhile, with the race honouring her former stable star, Jessica Harrington fields the promising Mr Fiftyone.
She said: "I'm happy with him, but it's a good race. He seems to have come on for his last race (sixth in Royal Bond Novice Hurdle), which probably wasn't suitably run.
"If they go a good gallop on Saturday and with the ground being a good bit softer I think he'll enjoy it. He is more of a chaser but we have to get through the moments to get there."