Mullins happy with Chacun Pour Soi ahead of Champion Chase
Trainer Willie Mullins picked out a couple of his stars ahead of The Festival, including Betway Champion Chase hope Chacun Pour Soi and evergreen 12-year-old Faugheen.
Mullins said: "Chacun Pour Soi was much better the other day. He needed the run at Christmas. I think he is improving all the time and I am hoping that he is going to be a big player in the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase.
"I thought Min around Leopardstown was the horse to beat the last day. Min probably did not jump as well as he needed to. We have always thought the world of Chacun Pour Soi, but they still have to go out and do it. That was the sort of performance we were hoping he had in his locker and he came out and did it.
"Now he needs to improve again, but I feel he can improve because he is only just catching up on experience. He has shown us from day one that he could be different class. The day that we first schooled him in Leopardstown really opened my eyes. I sent him there to follow the graded horses around and, within two fences, Danny [Mullins] and him were in front. He led them around and that was spectacular for a horse of his experience. He was just such a natural at it and he showed that at Leopardstown the other day.
"The Champion Chase is the race a lot of people want to watch in Cheltenham. It is a spectacular race. Everyone likes to knock off another achievement and it would be nice to put that one on our CV.
"I was delighted Faugheen was able to come back and win two Grade 1s at Limerick and Leopardstown. He has been in great shape since and that is all I can say. I could not get over the reaction the in stands at Leopardstown from the time they turned in. It looked like he had a chance, then it looked like Easy Game was going to get up and beat him. I have to say I could not get over the reaction of the people. I am rarely moved on a racecourse but that to me was some reception.
"I was disappointed in myself that I did not go chasing with him last season. I suppose people thought the Stayers' Hurdle was a nice target for him. He is just a horse I have always wanted to go chasing with before he retires. There is a lot of pressure bringing a horse of that age back, because if the worst happened and he got a bad injury, a lot of that was going to fall back on me."
The Festival™ presented by Magners gets under way on Tuesday, March 10.