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Dominant start by Mullins and Townend with storming wins in Dublin Chase and Irish Arkle

Earlier Gaillard Du Mesnil made no mistake in the Grade 1 opener.

CHACUN POUR SOI produced another imperious display to dominate his rivals in the Ladbrokes Dublin Chase while Energumene was unstoppable from the front in the Irish Arkle at Leopardstown today.

paul-townend-and-chacun-pour-soi-after-winning-the-ladbrokes-dublin-steeplechase Paul Townend and Chacun Pour Soi after winning the Dublin steeplechase. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Willie Mullins and Paul Townend combined for those victories along with the Grade 1 opener as Gaillard Du Mesnil made no mistake.

The Mullins-trained nine-year-old Chacun Pour Soi was the 2-5 favourite to successfully defend his crown in the two-mile-one-furlong contest, having proved too strong for stablemate Min – winner of the race in 2018 and 2019 – in last year’s renewal.

Min was once again in opposition, but two bad mistakes racing down the back straight led to him being pulled up by the trainer’s son Patrick, leaving Chacun Pour Soi travelling strongly in behind Notebook and Fakir D’oudairies.

Odds-on backers would have been happy as Paul Townend’s mount moved powerfully into the home straight, before taking command on the run to the final fence.

A huge leap sealed matters, and it was impossible to be anything but impressed by the way he pulled right away on the run-in to beat Fakir D’oudairies by eight lengths.

Chacun Pour Soi will be favourite to provide Mullins with a first victory in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, after being forced to miss the race last year following a minor setback on the morning of the race.

Later Energumene set up a mouthwatering clash with Shishkin at Cheltenham next month with a brilliant front-running display in the Patrick Ward & Company Solicitors Irish Arkle Novice Chase.

paul-townend-wins-on-energumene Favourite Energumene wins. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

The seven-year-old had looked a natural in winning his first two starts over fences – and with trainer Willie Mullins and jockey Paul Townend having already landed the first two Grade Ones of the afternoon, Energumene was the 5-6 favourite to follow suit.

Sent straight to the lead, the Tony Bloom-owned gelding fenced fluently throughout the two-mile-one-furlong contest to keep the pressure on his chasing rivals, with the fall of nearest pursuer Captain Guinness at the second-last leaving the market leader with a clear advantage.


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His stable companions Franco De Port and Blackbow attempted to bridge the gap from the home turn, but Energumene was in a class of his own as he passed the post with 10 lengths in hand.

Franco De Port pipped Blackbow to the runner-up spot to make it a Mullins one-two-three.

Earlier Paul Townend and Willie Mullins combined for success with Gaillard Du Mesnil in the opener for the Grade 1 Nathaniel Lacy & Partners Solicitors ’50k Cheltenham Bonus For Stable Staff’ Novice Hurdle.

paul-townend-celebrates-on-gaillard-du-mesnil-after-winning Paul Townend celebrates on Gaillard Du Mesnil Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

An impressive winner at the track over the Christmas period, the Willie Mullins-trained grey was the 13-8 market leader to successfully step up in distance and class for this two-mile-six-furlong Grade One contest.

Having travelled strongly in midfield for much of the race under Paul Townend, Gaillard Du Mesnil moved into the slipstream of his front-running stablemate Stattler early in the home straight, before taking over on the approach to the final flight.

The five-year-old never looked in danger of being caught from that point – galloping all the way to the line to score by five lengths, with Gentlemansgame pipping Stattler to the runner-up spot.

Screenshot 2020-11-24 at 9.04.07 AM

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