Opinion Piece: Why Chacun Pour Soi won’t win the Champion Chase

Wille Mullins has some decent chances on opening day.

Chacun Pour Soi is considered by many to be one of the most rock solid chances at this year’s Cheltenham Festival. Willie Mullins’ charge is broadly an odds on shot for the Champion Chase. However, this will be his toughest challenge yet. With the winners of the last three renewals lining up to deny him on his first visit to Cheltenham, it could be worth taking on the hot favourite.

Will he handle the track?

After last year’s late withdrawal from this race on vet’s advice, Chacun Pour Soi will be tackling Cheltenham and its’ famous hill for the first time. The course will provide a new challenge to the gelding. He will need to be at his absolute best to successfully master the ultimate test of a two mile chaser.

The nine-year-old’s strong travelling style means that he always looks visually very impressive throughout a race. However, he never seems to find a huge deal when off the bridle. Cheltenham’s hill will test this to the fullest and unless the race is put to bed before turning in, he could face a strong challenge late on.

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Main challengers

Of those challengers, two are previous winners of the race. Politologue took a weak renewal last year, but will certainly ensure that this years is a truly run race and can be very dangerous if getting into a rhythm out in front.

The other previous winner is Altior, successful in 2018 and 2019 before joining Chacun Pour Soi as a late non runner last year. Despite his age, it must be remembered that Altior has only been beaten twice over fences in twenty two attempts.

Nicky Henderson’s charge is a four time Grade One Cheltenham Festival winner and has displayed a preference for the firmer ground that will be on offer here. His unbeaten course record and preference for the prevailing ground may give him an advantage over Chacun Pour Soi, who has never raced with ‘Good’ in the going description.

Throughout the field, there are other interesting runners with positives for their chances. Nube Negra and First Flow are up and coming horses who have come into their own this season, while Put The Kettle On is unbeaten at Prestbury Park and races on better terms here than her clash with Chacun Pour Soi at Christmas.

Ultimately, the race will be a fascinating renewal after the disappointment of last year and Chacun Pour Soi may find that one of the old guard or young pretenders ensure his first trip to Cheltenham is a losing one.

Mullins’ dismal record

It must also be noted that Willie Mullins has an atrocious record in the Champion Chase. It is a race that he has never won. The “unbeatable” Douvan was sent off at odds of 2-9 favourite to win the race in 2017. He disappointed with a totally out-of-character sketchy round of jumping perhaps symptomatic of something troubling him. He tried again a year later and again failed.

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