Ballymore Champion Four Year Old Hurdle (Grade 1)

VAUBAN further embellished his position as the standout juvenile hurdler of the season as he bested old foe Fil Dor for the third time in as many meetings and he did so with any amount to spare.

After coming through Grade 1 tests at the Dublin Racing Festival and the Triumph Hurdle with flying colours, the Susannah Ricci-owned Vauban made it a Grade 1 hat-trick with consummate ease.

A step into open company next year will present this gelding with an altogether different challenge but such has been his dominance against this season’s juveniles that one suspects Vauban will be right at home as he builds towards a potential Champion Hurdle bid.


The race itself couldn’t have been any more straight-forward for the 4/11 favourite as he looked on from second as Fil Dor cut out the running.

To his credit, the latter gave his all from the front and answered every question asked of him by Davy Russell.

However, he simply couldn’t get Vauban under pressure. Paul Townend’s mount was cruising at all stages and eased ahead at the final flight before being pushed out for an ultra-smooth four-length success.

“He does look hugely exciting and he’s only learning to race. He was relatively lightly-raced on the flat and he’s getting it together over hurdles. We actually bought him before he won his listed race in France and there was huge interest in him after that. I’d say Rich could have turned a tidy profit if he was of a mind to do that,” observed Mullins.

“He’s shaping up to be a Champion Hurdle horse and I think he’s done plenty for this season and we’ll give him a good break and prepare him for next season.

“We do have the Melbourne Cup in our minds some day but he has done a lot for this year so I’ll talk to Rich about what route he takes.”