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Un De Sceaux and Ruby Walsh

Un De Sceaux: Arkle favourite can be backed at 4-5

  PICTURE: Patrick McCann (  

Mullins: better ground not a problem for Sceaux

ANYONE who reckons red-hot Racing Post Arkle favourite Un De Sceaux might get found out on quicker ground at Cheltenham might have to think again, according the exciting seven-year-old's trainer Willie Mullins.

The Edward O'Connell-owned front-runner cemented his position at the head of the Arkle market by securing his first top-level victory in Sunday's Frank Ward Solicitors Arkle Novice Chase at Leopardstown.

That success - with the classy pair Clarcam and Gilgamboa easily dismissed - came on ground described as yielding to soft and most of Un De Sceaux's runs have come in soft or heavy conditions.

Mullins, however, does not think decent ground at Cheltenham on March 10 will be an issue.

Ireland's Champion trainer told the Racing Post on Monday: "You couldn't have asked for more than he delivered at Leopardstown on Sunday.

"It was his biggest test over fences so far and he came through it with flying colours. Hopefully, we will get him to Cheltenham in top form. Because of the way he races, I don't see better ground being a problem for him."

Un De Sceaux is the general 4-5 favourite for the Arkle, while fellow Grade 1 winner Vibrato Valtat can be backed at 14-1.

He is likely to be trainer Paul Nicholls' only Arkle runner and will warm up for Cheltenham by running in Warwick's Grade 2 Kingmaker Novices' Chase on February 7.

Nicholls, likely to aim Ptit Zig at the JLT Novices' Chase at the festival rather than the Arkle, said: "The plan with Vibrato Valtat is to go to Warwick for the Kingmaker a week on Saturday and then go to the Arkle. He will probably be the only runner I will have in the race. Ptit Zig is in everything but it's highly likely he will run in the two and a half. Solar Impulse won't run."

Get Pricewise's Arkle verdict in Tuesday's Racing Post or download the iPad edition from 8pm on Monday

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