Rich Ricci on Supreme Novices' winner Vautour: "It is hard to get that race at Cheltenham out of the mind because he was so visually striking."PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Ricci outlines plans for Faugheen and Fever
LEADING owner Rich Ricci has outlined plans for his plethora of superstars, revealing Faugheen would stay hurdling and Champagne Fever will be stepped up in trip
However, with the likes of Cheltenham Festival fancies Vautour, Faugheen, Champagne Fever and Annie Power to keep apart, Ricci said many plans were still up in the air.
"Champagne Fever is bred to stay so he will be run over longer distances this season. We don't have any firm plans, but we could run in the King George," Ricci told At The Races.
Beaten a head by Western Warhorse in the Arkle, seven-year-old Champagne Fever is already a dual festival winner having won the Champion Bumper and Supreme Novices' Hurdle.
Of Faugheen and Vautour, winners of the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle and the Supreme Novices' respectively, Ricci said: "Faugheen stays over hurdles and after Punchestown the Champion Hurdle could be his target, but it depends slightly on Vautour and Annie Power, because if we keep those two hurdling then it would be a different story who goes where.
"If you think about what Vautour did last season at Cheltenham, that to me was the most visibly impressive race all season, which would support the argument to keep him hurdling, but then he looks the part for a chaser.
"We all think Vautour's a chaser, but it is hard to get that race at Cheltenham out of the mind because he was so visually striking."
Reminding everyone of the embarrassment of riches he possesses, Ricci added: "We have to see what else we have to go novice chasing as we have the likes of Pont Alexandre coming back from injury as well and he will definitely go chasing.
"On ratings if Annie Power got to the mares' hurdle in one piece she'd be very hard to beat, but she to me is a puzzle. She could be taken off her feet in a Champion Hurdle, but I don't know whether she will jump fences or stay over hurdles."