Willie Mullins admits it would be huge achievement if Chacun Pour Soi could complete his clean sweep of victories in the five championship races at Cheltenham by striking gold in the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase.
Having saddled winners in the Unibet Champion Hurdle, Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle, Ryanair Chase and WellChild Cheltenham Gold Cup, the prestigious two-mile Grade One is the only major race missing from the illustrious CV of the most successful trainer in Festival history. The closest Mullins has come to success is second place with Un de Sceaux (2016) and Min (2018).
However, the Closutton handler appears to have outstanding claims of setting the record straight this year with the lightly raced nine year old, who was forced to miss the race 12 months ago after suffering a late setback.
The Susannah Ricci-owned gelding is unbeaten in three starts this season, with his latest two victories coming at Grade One level at Leopardstown in the Paddy Power Rewards Club Chase in December and this month’s Ladbrokes Dublin Chase.
Mullins said: “It would be huge for the stable and everyone here to get that (Champion Chase) win and have all the Championship races at the Cheltenham Festival.
“When we started off we just wanted a runner and then a winner, not dreaming we could be in the position we’re in today, but it’s something we’ve been lucky with and I’d love to do it.
“Hopefully he will give us a chance to try and put that away. He’s in great form since Leopardstown and does everything right at home, so fingers crossed.
“It hurts, but at Cheltenham, every 35 minutes it’s a new page and you don’t really get to think about it or for it to sink in and thankfully we had a good Cheltenham last year so it’s history.
“It’s different if you had one horse, you would probably wallow in it, but as I said to the lads ‘just put it behind us and get on to the next race’.
“He’s like that. Dermot rides him and there’s never anything wrong with him, until the morning of the race last year. He had his troubles early on in his career but now everything has settled down he just goes up the gallop every morning and does his work.
“We want to get there and see what he can do at Cheltenham can he be as good as Leopardstown. He is one of the ones if you had to pick the top five or six travelling over, you’d say he is one that you are really hoping can bring his ‘A’ game there.”