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Chacun Pour Soi back to brilliant best at Punchestown for Townend and Mullins

Smart mare Echoes In Rain adds to Mullins haul in Grade One contest.

Updated Apr 27th 2021, 5:32 PM

CHAUCUN POUR SOI bounced back to his brilliant best to land the William Hill Champion Chase at Punchestown.

paul-townend-onboard-chacun-pour-soi-comes-home-to-win Paul Townend on board Chaucn Pour Soi comes home to win. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

The nine-year-old was a red-hot favourite to provide trainer Willie Mullins with a first victory in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham last month, following three runaway victories earlier in the season.

However, after hitting the front on the run to the final fence there, Paul Townend’s mount faltered up the hill and passed the post only third.

With Ryanair Chase-winning stablemate Allaho and Dan Skelton’s Champion Chase runner-up Nube Negra in opposition this time, Chacun Pour Soi faced a far from straightforward task in his bid to get back on the winning trail – but he could hardly have been more impressive.

Having disputed the early running with Allaho, Townend sent the Rich and Susannah Ricci-owned winner to a clear lead with over a circuit to race – and they were then never headed.

Having looked outpaced back over this shorter trip before the home turn, Allaho attempted to close the gap in the straight, but 6-5 favourite Chacun Pour Soi was ultimately far too strong for his stablemate and passed the post with five and a half lengths in hand.

Nube Negra was some 19 lengths further behind in third.

Exciting mare Echoes In Rain beat the boys with an impressive display in the eCOMM Merchant Solutions Champion Novice Hurdle.

patrick-mullins-onboard-echoes-in-rain-celebrates-winning Patrick Mullins celebrates after Echoes in Rain wins. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Trainer Willie Mullins had saddled seven previous winners of the Grade One contest, with Hurricane Fly (2009), Faugheen (2014) and Douvan (2015) among those on the roll of honour.

This year the Closutton handler fired a twin assault, with dual Grade Two winner Echoes In Rain the 8-13 favourite under the trainer’s son Patrick Mullins, and Blue Lord next best in the market at 15-8 in the hands of Paul Townend.

Bidding to bounce back from a final-flight fall when seemingly booked for second behind stablemate Appreciate It in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham, Blue Lord set out to make all the running, with Echoes In Rain always in his slipstream.

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The favourite took over the lead with relative ease on the run to the final flight, however, before kicking just over three lengths clear on the run-in.

Colonel Mustard (40-1) finished with a flourish to beat Blue Lord to the runner-up spot late on and deny Mullins a one-two.

conor-mcnamara-onboard-jazzaway-green-silks-comes-home-to-win Conor McNamara on board Jazzaway comes home to win. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Jazzaway won the Killashee Hotel Handicap Hurdle for Willie Mullins with Conor McNamara on board the 10-1 shot, a victory in a photo finish over Call Me Lyreen for Jack Kennedy and Jesse Evans was back in third for Sean Flanagan.

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