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Tony McCoy tips Vautour to reign Supreme at Cheltenham

Tony McCoy feels Sunday's Deloitte Hurdle at Leopardstown was the strongest race run for novices so far this season and rates both Vautour and The Tullow Tank as horses to follow at the Cheltenham Festival.

The victor made it three from three since joining Willie Mullins from France when making every post a winning one and is now a clear favourite to also prevail in the 2m Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle at Prestbury Park.

Meanwhile, many pundits earmarked the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle over 2m 5f as the ideal contest for the runner-up after he stayed on strongly without ever looking like catching his conqueror at 2m 2f.

However, McCoy believes it is wrong to assume The Tullow Tank needs to step up in trip, having previously claimed Grade 1 successes in the Royal Bond at Fairyhouse and the Future Champions race at Leopardstown over the minimum National Hunt distance.

"There has been no outstanding star in the UK this year amongst the two-mile novice hurdlers so Vautour has to be the one to beat," said the champion jockey in his blog on the official Cheltenham website.

"I wouldn't give up on The Tullow Tank, though, and I am not sure he needs to be stepped up in trip either. He won well over two miles at Christmas and I don't think he was at his best over the weekend to be fair. I still think he is a good horse and needs respecting whatever trip he runs over at The Festival."

Vautour's trainer Willie Mullins will be seeking a fourth Supreme Novices' Hurdle strike after previously prevailing with Tourist Attraction in 1995, Ebaziyan in 2007 and Champagne Fever last term.

Irish raiders also have a good record in the Neptune, with four of the last eight victors having come across from the Emerald Isle.


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Tony McCoy tips Vautour to reign Supreme at Cheltenham

Tony McCoy feels Sunday's Deloitte Hurdle at Leopardstown was the strongest race run for novices so far this season and rates both Vautour and The Tullow Tank as horses to follow at the Cheltenham Festival.

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