Vautour: impressive winner of the JLT Novices' Chase at CheltenhamPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Vautour stars among strong Fairyhouse entry
THE mighty Vautour, whose rating soared to 171 following his demolition of Apache Stronghold and Valseur Lido in the JLT Novices' Chase at Cheltenham, remains among the 18 possibles for the Grade 1 Ryanair Gold Cup at Fairyhouse on Sunday.
Vautour is one of five potential runners in the Fairyhouse contest for Willie Mullins with the champion trainer also having the option of running Grade 1 winners Valseur Lido and Gitane Du Berlais as well as Blood Cotil and star mare Vroum Vroum Mag.
Noel Meade has already gone on record as saying he won't be asking Apache Stronghold to tackle Vautour again this season but he remains in the field at the five-day stage, as does Wounded Warrior who was third to Don Poli in the RSA Chase.
Henry De Bromhead could be double-handed with Smashing and Shanahan's Turn, while The Tullow Tank could bid to get his reputation back on track too.
Mullins also dominates the 18 remaining entries in the Grade 1 Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares' Novice Hurdle with four potential runners, including the unbeaten Morning Run.
There is a strong British challenge likely as Harry Fry is doubly-represented with Bitofapuzzle and Desert Queen, Alan King could run The Pirate's Queen and Peter Bowen has Rons Dream still in the field.
The Grade 2 Coolmore NH Sires Novice Hurdle has 27 entries at the five-day stage, including Milsean who was agonisingly denied by Martello Tower in the Albert Bartlett at the Cheltenham Festival.