Willie Mullins stable tour: Hoping Chacun Pour Soi delivers elusive Champion Chase

Willie Mullins stable tour: Hoping Chacun Pour Soi delivers elusive Champion Chase

IF YOU were to ask any trainer the races they’d most like to win, the Queen Mother Champion Chase would be very high up on the list.

Though Willie Mullins is the winning-most Cheltenham Festival trainer of all time, Wednesday’s feature race has eluded the Irish supremo thus far.

Speaking at his Closutton stables in County Carlow, Mullins
acknowledged he has a big chance of adding the race to his remarkable CV this
year with Chacun Pour Soi.

“It’s probably the most watchable race at Cheltenham and
Chacun Pour Soi has a very good chance this year. It would be a fantastic
achievement to win it.”

Another huge achievement would be if Faugheen could win at
the Festival for a third time.

He’s perhaps the most popular of all the horses in the
Mullins yard and his trainer was blown over by the reception his 12-year-old
received after winning at Leopardstown last time.

“I couldn’t get over the reaction in the stand at
Leopardstown, I think it was probably the best reaction I’ve ever seen at a
racecourse.

“There’s a lot of pressure bringing a horse of his age back,
but he’s captured the racing public and continues to perform.”

Once again, Mullins has an extremely strong team heading to
Cheltenham:

ASTERION FORLONGE

SKY BET SUPREME NOVICES’ HURDLE 6/1

We think the horse should go for the Supreme and that’s
where we are heading at the moment. I’d been aiming him at the Albert Bartlett
all season, but he’s bolted up over two miles twice now, so this looks the best
race for him.

CILAOS EMERY

UNIBET CHAMPION HURDLE 8/1

After his win the other day, I think he’ll be supplemented
for the Champion Hurdle. I loved how he put the race to bed in a few strides at
Gowran and I think he’s good enough. The decision to run has been made solely
because of how open a year it is.

BENIE DES DIEUX

CLOSE BROTHERS MARES’ HURDLE 5/6 OR PADDY POWER
STAYERS’ HURDLE 8/1

She’s a hell of a mare and I couldn’t believe what she did
in France last year. You’re almost guaranteed to get soft in the going on the
first day and that’s a big plus for her. She was very unlucky last year and I’d
like to get some unfinished business done.

CAREFULLY SELECTED

NATIONAL HUNT CHASE 7/2

He’ll go for the National Hunt Chase and it’s a race he
looks born and bred for. He’s looked beaten in his last two starts, but has
battled back. He gallops, jumps and Patrick [Mullins] is really looking forward
to riding him.

ALLAHO

RSA INSURANCE NOVICES’ CHASE 7/1

The RSA is the probable race for him. He’s light on
experience, but stays, gallops and his jumping is a huge asset. My only worry
is he was a bit keen the last day and if he’s like that in his next bits of
work, we’d have to consider going back in trip for the Marsh.

CHACUN POUR SOI

BETWAY QUEEN MOTHER CHAMPION CHASE 11/4

Chacun Pour Soi was much better the other day at
Leopardstown and I think he’s improving all the time. We’ve always thought the
world of him but he’ll need to improve again as it’s such a strong race.

APPRECIATE IT

WEATHERBYS CHAMPION BUMPER 2/1

He’s done everything right in his two runs and looks to be
going there with a big chance. He has a huge cruising speed, which you need in
the bumper at Cheltenham. I think he’d have to be one of our main hopes this
year.

FAUGHEEN

MARSH NOVICES’ CHASE 8/1 OR RSA INSURANCE NOVICES’
CHASE 14/1

I was delighted he was able to come back and win two Grade
One races and he’s been in great shape since. I was disappointed I didn’t go
chasing with him last year as I’ve always wanted to, but I’m very happy he’s
come back and proven a point. We have to discuss where we go now.

AL BOUM PHOTO

MAGNERS GOLD CUP 4/1

All roads lead to the Gold Cup. The prep worked so well last
year and I’m a bit of a creature of habit, so we’ve decided to follow the same
path this season. He comes into the race fresh and with normal improvement he
should have a fantastic chance.

KEMBOY

MAGNERS GOLD CUP 9/1

Kemboy’s two runs this year have been very good and he was
probably a bit unlucky last year when he unseated David [Mullins]. I think he
has it all to do around there and I’d be delighted if he finished amongst the places.

Cheltenham Festival goers are in for an alternative experience this year with the introduction of The Park. Love Island’s Amy Hart and Frankie Foster, as well as ITV Racing’s Chris Hughes, will be part of the social enclosure, where spectators can enjoy top entertainment. Entry is free for 18-25 members. Prices start at £15 for others.

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