Three time Cheltenham Festival winner Vautour had a freak accident today at the Willie Mullins yard and sadly had to be put down. “He broke a foreleg and had to be put down” said a devastated Mullins. Last years’ Ryanair Chase winner was described as a “Gazelle in equine form” by Simon Holt who was the commentator for the race. The 7 year old Robin Des Champs gelding had an unblemished 100% record at Cheltenham, landing the Supreme Novices Hurdle, JLT Novices’ Chase and Ryanair Chase.
The racing world is in shock at the news and that is a massive blow to the Willie Mullins yard who just recently lost all of their Gigginstown House Stud runners as Michael O’Leary was not willing to pay the increased training fees that Willie had enforced.
Willie Mullins said: “It’s been a lovely, dry day here and Vautour was out in the paddock with his usual companion Shaneshill.
“One of the girls went out to feed him. There didn’t appear to be anything untoward as Shaneshill was grazing away, but Vautour was found to have broken his foreleg.
He has given us jumps’ racing fans so many cherished memories and we are ever so grateful. We feel so sorry for all connected with the horse and our thoughts are with Willie Mullins, Rich Ricci and everyone at the yard. Vautour was more than likely going to go down the Cheltenham Gold Cup route this season and we were all really excited about the prospect of seeing him taking on Thistlecrack and Douvan on Gold Cup Day in March. We can’t put into words how much of a loss this is but one thing is for sure; Vautour will be forever in our hearts #RIP