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2014 Cheltenham Festival tips - Faugheen camp boosted by Supreme win for Vautour

Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh kicked off the 2014 Cheltenham Festival with a spectacular novice hurdle success from Vautour and will bid to follow up with the much-vaunted Faugheen in the Neptune on day two.

The six-year-old not only received a boost from his stablemate scoring but also by Josses Hill finishing second in the Supreme, as he beat that horse by an amazing 22 lengths in a Punchestown bumper.

Faugheen has since gone on to claim three straight wins over timber this term, including a Grade 3 success at Limerick when beating The Job Is Right by five lengths.

"If what we think is under the bonnet is under the bonnet, Faugheen is a very good horse," warned Walsh when asked about his mount's chances in the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle.

Walsh certainly got it right when choosing to ride Vautour, who confirmed the promise of his Grade One Deloitte Novices Hurdle victory at Leopardstown when leading all the way to oblige by six lengths in the Supreme.


The French import jumped beautifully throughout, quickened up off the front on the turn for home and then galloped on strongly up the hill to run out an impressive winner of the Festival curtain raiser.

"I had it in my head I was riding the horse because he's a stayer, so I wasn't going to come back in and kick myself for going too slow," beamed Walsh. "He jumped superbly. I've been doubting him all week but he's some horse."

Mullins was also in a bullish mood after watching the first of his army of fancied Irish raiders run his rivals ragged with a lightning quick triumph at Prestbury Park.

"He was a bit keen early on but Ruby just let him have his head and get on with it and everything went well from then on," commented the trainer. "He seemed to be in a different league to the others going round and I thought if he can keep this up he's going to put in some performance - and he did just that."


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2014 Cheltenham Festival tips - Faugheen camp boosted by Supreme win for Vautour

Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh kicked off the 2014 Cheltenham Festival with a spectacular novice hurdle success from Vautour and will bid to follow up with the much-vaunted Faugheen in the Neptune on day two.

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