WILLIE MULLINS' Vauban has left a rival trainer 'scared' and speechless in his Melbourne Cup preparation.
The former Triumph Hurdle hero is as short as 5-2 to win the 'race that stops a nation' for Mullins, with Ryan Moore confirmed in the saddle.
Victory next Tuesday at 4am UK time will be worth £2.3million to owner Rich Ricci.
And if Mick Price, the trainer of Lastotchka, is to be believed, then everyone else is running for second place already.
He was left absolutely blown away after watching Vauban do work over the Flemington track on Tuesday.
Mullins' assistant and main man Down Under, David Casey, rode Vauban, Ebor winner and stablemate Absurde in behind.
Absurde is no slouch but Vauban powered ahead with Casey not moving a muscle in the saddle.
Price watched it and said: "There will be no horse that will do more work and he had a bit of a sweat coming back into the mounting yard, as you would, it was like SAS out there.
"I felt tired looking at it.
"Look, that is solid work and he dashed up. I don’t know what time it was.
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"I haven’t got the right horse to be doing that with.
"Willie Mullins, good luck to him. I wish I could do that sort of work, but I’d be too scared to.
"It’s a 3200-metre (two mile) race and he will be the toughest, fittest, soundest horse in the race.
"There will be no horse that will do more lead-up work. He had a bit of sweat coming back into the mounting yard, as you would.
"He’ll be the fittest, soundest horse on the day and I’ve got a lot of respect for him."
The Melbourne Cup draw will be made on Saturday, after which Casey said he will come up with tactics for the race.
Whatever happens, he said it's likely Vauban will go from the front like he did when winning at Royal Ascot.
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