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Friday 3 February 2023 Dublin: 10°C
Alamy Stock Photo Jockey Paul Townend celebrates winning.
# Cheltenham
Shishkin pulled up as Energumene takes Champion Chase gold for Willie Mullins
Dramatic running of two-mile championship at Cheltenham.

THE QUEEN MOTHER Champion Chase was billed as round two of heavyweight two-mile chasers Shishkin and Energumene, but in the end, there was only one horse in it.

Shishkin got the better of their first meeting in the Clarence House Chase at Ascot, winning by a length and taking his unbeaten record over fences to seven.

But in a dramatic rematch, the Nicky Henderson-trained Shishkin never travelled with any fluency at the back of the pack and was pulled up by Nico de Boinville after jumping the sixth from home.

Energumene (5-2) was always travelling well, despite the very soft ground, and once Chacun Pour Soi had exited when going well toward the head of affairs at the fifth last, Paul Townend’s job appeared much simpler.

Energumene, who had lost his unbeaten record at Ascot, had last year’s winner Put The Kettle on in his sights and turning in, had beaten off the mare.

He picked off Envoi Allen and once setting sail two out, it was Funambule Sivola (40-1) who gave vain chase in second, although he was soon in Townend’s rear-view mirror.

The eight-year-old went on to beat his six rivals by eight and a half lengths, with Envoi Allen a further four and a half lengths back in third.

It marks a first win in this race for trainer Willie Mullins.

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