Like most people I watched Vautour scramble home on his comeback race the other week and then scratched my head along with many others at the fact that he was 3/1 favourite for the King George after that comeback race. Some pundits were even going as far as to say that his market position was presenting obvious betting opportunities on other horses and at first I was leaning that way myself until I got the stop watch out.
The first sign of concern regarding his opponents on Boxing day arrived when I looked at the sectionals for Don Cossack and Silvinio Conti’s respective races at Aintree last spring. My conclusion was that there was little between them with slight preference for Silviniano Conti. However if we are leaning towards Conti on that evidence we have to throw Ballnagour into the mix as he was only headed by Conti at Aintree. Holywell was also only a length or so behind which started to push me towards the conclusion that none of these animals are stand out horses, a theory which holds some water after a rejuvinated Cue Card brushed aside Conti in their final prep race before the big race. I firmly believe that Cue Card is a cut above Coni when he is right and perhaps his latest breathing op’ has sorted him out and the drier the ground the better his chance on Boxing day.
Getting back to Vautour and looking at his sectionals at Cheltenham last March and comparing with the Ryanair which included a beaten Don Cossack we have a horse in Vautour who looks every inch or second a champion. I would have no hesitation in backing him on good/good to soft over 20f against these horses. The question arises with the fact that this trip is 3m and as yet we do not know the going. If the ground is not too bad then I would suggest his current 3/1 is a more than a fair price despite the trip which is quite a U turn from only a week or so ago.
What are your thoughts on the KG ?