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Vauban Horse: Age, rating, trainer, owner, race record and form

Dual-purpose performer Vauban is a star on both the Flat and over jumps for all-conquering trainer Willie Mullins and his sights are now being set on Ascot's Gold Cup.

The 2022 Triumph Hurdle hero won at Ascot last summer in handicap company and, after a crack at the Melbourne Cup since, is being readied for the biggest prize in Flat racing this summer.

Horse Racing

Vauban Owner

Vauban runs in the famous pink and green spotted silks of Mrs Susanna Ricci. Together with her husband, Rich Ricci, they have made a lasting mark on National Hunt racing courtesy of superstars like Annie Power, Vautour, Douvan and Chacun Pour Soi – to name but four.

Rich Ricci was formerly a co-chief executive of Barclays' investment banking arm and is reported to be worth in excess of £100m. He has developed a long-term association with top trainer Mullins, linking up for several huge successes.

Vauban Trainer

Mullins is the most successful Jumps trainer of the current era and is well on target to become the greatest of all-time. He is an 18-time champion trainer in Ireland and, in 2024, became the champion Jumps trainer in Britain for the first time as well.

He's saddled more than 100 winners at the Cheltenham Festival, the first person to achieve that feat.

He is based at Closutton in County Carlow, from where he sends out a team of horses to win the biggest races over Jumps in Ireland, Britain and further afield, while he has also enjoyed notable successes on the Flat, including at Royal Ascot.

He is a former six-time amateur champion jockey in Ireland. His father, Paddy, was a trainer before him and his mother, Maureen, was considered the matriarch of Irish racing before her passing away early in 2024. His son Patrick rides as an amateur in the Jumps game, partnering many of the yard's bumper horses.

Vauban Age

Vauban is a six-year-old chestnut gelding and has been racing since April 2021 where his career began on the Flat in France.

Vauban Rating

On the Flat, Vauban is officially rated 105 in Britain, with a peak Racing Post Rating of 119, achieved in his win in the Copper Horse Handicap at Royal Ascot in 2023.

Over Jumps, he has a hurdles rating of 160, while his peak RPR was achieved in that code when second to current Champion Hurdler State Man in the Matheson Hurdle at Leopardstown in December 2022.

Vauban Record

Vauban was a Listed winner on the level in France as a three-year-old before Rich Ricci snapped him up. He was second to Pied Piper on hurdles bow at Punchestown on New Year's Eve in 2021 but would win his next three starts over timber, all of them Grade 1s at the Dublin Racing Festival, Cheltenham and Punchestown the following spring.

In 2022/23 he ran well as he graduated into open company but was winless in four runs as he clashed with the likes of State Man and Constitution Hill in top-level company.

Come Royal Ascot in June, he made a mockery of a mark of 101, winning the Copper Horse Handicap over 1m6f by over seven-lengths.

He added the Group 3 Ballyroan Stakes at Naas in August and was sent to Australia where he started favourite in the Melbourne Cup at Flemington but could only manage a midfield finish.

His 2024 season started with a runner-up finish in the Group 2 Yorkshire Cup in May behind Giavellotto.

Vauban Prize Money

Taking into account his efforts over jumps and on the Flat, Vauban has won £471,664 in prize money for his connections.

Vauban News

After his comeback second at York, Mullins was clearly pleased and felt that Vauban can improve plenty on that first run since November.

"I was very happy with how he ran at York, and so was William [Buick, jockey]," he said. "It was his first run since the Melbourne Cup so we knew he would come on for it. I was hoping he would run like that and I have to say I was very happy afterwards."

The powerhouse trainer has signalled his intention to return to Ascot on Thursday 20th June for the Gold Cup, where Vauban is 8/1 to hand him a first win, though he is respectful of Aidan O'Brien's 2022 winner Kyprios.

Mullins added: "I'm under no illusions. I'd say Kyprios is going to be very hard to beat but if you're not in you can't win and we're keen to give it a go. I think the race will suit Vauban and we'll have a crack at it and see what happens."

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