Cork Winner Tops Betting For Champion Chase

19 February 2021
By Roger Jones
roger@TheCork.ie

Sports Entertainment

Chacun Pour Soi is the bookmakers’ favourite to win the leading 2m chase contest at the Cheltenham Festival next month when he lines up in the Grade One Queen Mother Champion Chase. He is considered to be one of Ireland’s best chances at the meeting this year,

Willie Mullins’ runner prevailed in the Grade Two Hilly Way Chase at Cork earlier this season and since then has looked unstoppable on the track. He has now prevailed in his last four appearances, giving connections a lot of optimism that he can score at the Festival on his debut there. The Irish horse is currently valued at 4/6 in the Cheltenham odds for the Champion Chase. He is one of the shortest price favourites across the whole week at the meeting.

The nine-year-old scored by 19 lengths on his opening start of the campaign at the venue in Mallow. He showed no signs of lacking in any fitness and once his jockey Paul Townend asked him to quicken up, he soon stretched away from his rivals.

His first Grade One success of the campaign came over the festive period at Leopardstown. It was an impressive performance by the Irish horse as he beat a small, but quality, field which included Notebook.

Chacun Pour Soi’s final run before Cheltenham took place at Leopardstown earlier this month. He prevailed by eight lengths and looked in great shape, beating stablemate Min and Fakir D’oudairies.

Connections Hoping To Make Up For Last Year’s Disappointment

Mullins star chaser missed out on the feature race on day two of the festival in 2020 as he picked up an injury on the eve of the meeting. He was set to have strong claims last year, especially as Altior was also ruled out prior to his withdrawal.

Connections of the horse will be hoping their horse can deliver them the top prize this time around. He has more experience at the top level now so you can argue he is much better prepared for a shot at the Championship race.

Surprisingly, the Championship Chase is one of the few leading National Hunt contests in the UK and Ireland that former Irish Champion Trainer Mullins has not won. As the Cheltenham Festival results indicate, the closest he has come so far is second place, which he achieved in 2018 when Min was runner-up.

Fascinating Clash With Altior And Politologue

This year’s Champion Chase has the potential to be one of the best races of the week at the festival. Chacun Pour Soi is set to clash with two-time winner Altior and the 2020 champion Politologue.

Altior has won 15 of his 17 races over fences. He has featured once so far this season and that was when he was below his best at Kempton, finishing second in the Desert Orchid Chase. Nicky Henderson’s runner will now go straight to Cheltenham after his final preparation run was postponed due to a waterlogged track at Newbury.

Last year’s winner Politologue is bidding to repeat what Altior did in 2019 by defending his crown in the 2m contest. The grey horse won the Tingle Creek Chase earlier this season so he also goes into the race with strong claims.

Hopefully, Chacun Pour Soi runs again at Cork next season and if he does, he could well line up at the Mallow venue as the Champion Chase winner.

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