The gelding is unbeaten at Cheltenham in the past two years
The Willie Mullins-trained Vautour is to run in the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival instead of the Gold Cup.
The gelding's owner Rich Ricci revealed the news on Channel 4's The Morning Line ahead of the opening day of the festival.
Rich Ricci: "Vautour hasn't been pulling up trees in his work. The Gold Cup is very difficult - even at 90%, we don't want to ruin him."— Channel 4 Racing (@Channel4Racing) March 15, 2016
"We've said in recent weeks that he hasn't been pulling up trees in his work, but he's been working better lately. We've decided now to run him in the Ryanair - he'll be declared in an hour or so", Ricci told The Morning Line.
The seven-year-old finished second in his last race. He finished second to Cue Card at the King George VI Chase on St. Stephen's Day. At Cheltenham, Vautour, with Ruby Walsh on board is unbeaten. In the past two-years the horse was victorious in the Supreme Novice's Hurdle and the Novice's Chase.