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Published: 14:00 | 19/3/16

Ruby Walsh: Vautour 'defied logic' at Festival

The seven-year-old won the Ryanair Chase

Ruby Walsh believes Vautour “defied all logic” by winning at the Cheltenham Festival on Thursday.

With concerns about his fitness in the lead up to the Festival, trainer Willie Mullins and owner Rich Ricci opted to reroute the seven-year-old from the Gold Cup to the Ryanair Chase.

And it proved to be a masterstroke from the trainer after he bolted up by six lengths under Walsh.

"In my eyes, Vautour defied all logic when winning the Ryanair Chase,” the top festival jockey told the Irish Examiner.

"As far as I'm concerned, he should have been at home in his stable but for him to go out there and win the way he did is just further testament to the mastery of Willie Mullins."

Walsh rode seven winners at the Festival and became the first jockey to claim over 50 winners at the Prestbury Park in what he described as "an unbelievable week".

"It's not very often so little goes wrong and so much goes right, so we have to make the most of it when it happens like this,” he said.

"If you had offered me this before the Festival had started, I would have taken your hand off."

The one disappointment for the jockey was the eclipse of Un De Sceaux to Sprinter Sacre in the Queen Mother Champion Chase, but Walsh is confident that there is still plenty to come from UDS.

"He may have been a little bit below par, which was unfortunate, but it was a brilliant training performance by Nicky Henderson to get Sprinter Sacre back well enough to win this race for a second time.

"There'll be other days for Un De Sceaux."

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