High hopes for Champion Chase favourite Chacun Pour Soi at Christmas

Chacun Pour Soi is firmly on course for another shot at the Paddy’s Rewards Club Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas.

The Willie Mullins-trained Champion Chase favourite suffered a surprise reverse in the Grade One contest last season, on what was his seasonal bow, before showing his class at the Dublin Racing Festival.

A late setback on raceday morning meant he missed Cheltenham in March, but he returned with victory in the Hilly Way Chase at Cork on Sunday.

Speaking at the launch of Leopardstown’s Christmas Festival on Wednesday, the trainer’s son and assistant Patrick Mullins said: “Chacun Pour Soi went straight to Leopardstown last year and got beaten by A Plus Tard when he just blew up.

“I think that’s why Willie was keen to give him a run this year prior to Christmas. I’d imagine that will be his aim.

“Min waited until the Dublin Racing Festival last season and that seemed to work well for him with regards to going on to the Ryanair.

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“Willie is usually a creature of habit and I’d imagine they’ll do a similar thing this year.

“I’d be disappointed if A Plus Tard could beat Chacun Pour Soi this time. We have no excuse this year having had the run in Cork.

“Notebook is the one you’d be wary of. He’s a horse with an awful lot of talent and has won well around Leopardstown before.

“We think the world of Chacun Pour Soi and think on his day there are very few horses that would beat him.

“He came out of the race in Cork very well and I’d imagine all being well he’ll go back to Leopardstown.”

In the staying division the Savills Chase is shaping up to be another cracking renewal and Kemboy could bid to repeat his victory in the race two years ago.

Mullins junior said: “Kemboy was disappointing last season. He just blew up in Thurles last month after running well for a long way.

“A couple of years ago when he had a real good season it was a particularly dry winter and perhaps he needs that really dry ground to be at his best.

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“I’d be concerned that the more rain there is the worse for him.

“I’d love to see Melon have a go over three miles. He was good in the John Durkan and Brian Hayes said he got tired at the end.

“He’s also in the King George and there is the option of the Kinloch Brae as well. We’ll see when Willie decides that he wants to try him over three miles, he could wait for the Dublin Racing Festival.

“Allaho is in it as well. I’m not convinced he really wants three miles but maybe on good ground at Leopardstown he might be OK.”

Assessing the potential Savills Chase opposition, Mullins said: “Minella Indo and Champ are the two young up and coming horses. There are only two fences in the last half-mile at Leopardstown and that will probably suit Champ.

“Minella Indo has had two runs and for me he’d be the one to beat with the runs under his belt.”

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