Champion Chase with Tony Mullins

The Queen Mother Champion Chase market is dominated by Willie Mullins’ Chacun Pour Soi, who is unbeaten since February 2020.

The nine-year-old is fancied by many to win easily at Cheltenham, but is he fancied by those that are close to the gelding? We spoke to trainer Tony Mullins about the race and Chacun’s chances.

Who do you think wins the Champion Chase?

“There’s no thinking here, I know who is going to win the Champion Chase. It’s CHACUN POUR SOI, he is going to win by half the track. There is no danger. The only way he gets beat is if the races get cancelled. There is nothing within a stone of him in it.”

Some punters compared the times of Chacun Pour Soi and Energumene at the Dublin Festival, with the latter finishing three seconds quicker than your selection over the same trip. Was that Chacun at his best?

“I’d say Chacun Pour Soi is better on nice racing ground, he’s just a pure class horse.

“ALTIOR is second-favourite, he was a great champion but I’d say that he probably isn’t up to the level that he was two or three years ago. POLITOLOGUE is a very reliable, classy horse, trained by the Champion Trainer (Paul Nicholls).

“If something stupid did happen to Chacun Pour Soi then it’s between Altior, Politilogue, Nube Negra, the Spanish horse, and First Flow, who had a fantastic run at Ascot. Without Chacun Pour Soi, it’s a fantastically competitive race but he’s in a different league.”

 

Just to talk about Altior again, do you think his lack of a run this season could be a cause for concern?

“I don’t think so. It’s a shame that the public hasn’t had a better look at him but it’s not going to interfere with his preparation for Cheltenham. Nicky Henderson has produced Champion Hurdle winners that haven’t run that season so that won’t be a problem. It’s only a problem for the public as they haven’t been able to have a proper look at him.”

 

If Altior returned in the great form he was in during 2019 before he raced Cyrname, would he go close?

“You have to respect him. He was a great champion, but I don’t see him like that anymore. As the fella said, ‘Winston Churchill was a great leader but he eventually got too old’. That’s the way I see Altior, he was a great champion and now unfortunately it’s over.”

Is there any you fancy at a bigger each-way price?

“No, it’s a very dangerous race. Chacun Pour Soi is well clear of the next four in the betting and then there’s PUT THE KETTLE ON in there too, if she doesn’t go for the Mares’ Chase. Those are five very closely matched horses so even if a mishap came for one or two, I don’t see any outsiders getting into the race.”

How do you see the race panning out for Chacun Pour Soi?

“I think he’ll jump out to make all and if they want to take him on then he’ll let them go on. The beauty of Chacun Pour Soi is that you can ride him any way you like. They (other rivals) can plan all they want, he’ll sit in front of them or he’ll sit behind, it doesn’t matter. All he wants is a nice bit of daylight so that he can see his fences, jump away, and as far as I’m concerned it’s all over when they pass the white flagman.” 

Chacun Pour Soi is best priced at 10/11 with William Hill

Altior is best priced at 8/1 with Bet365

Politologue is best priced at 9/1 with Bet365 and William Hill

Put The Kettle On is best priced at 14/1 with Bet 365