Mullins Has Plenty Of Ammunition For Cracking Champion Chase

It was a brilliant performance from Magic of Light at Ascot.

I think it was a better race this year and a better performance from Magic of Light.

At the moment, all roads lead to Aintree in April.

Polished Performance
Polished Steel had a much improved performance at Thurles on Sunday. He’d taken a heavy fall in his last start at Punchestown and was none the worse for that. All his best performances have been on a decent surface so I’d imagine that he’ll go back to the Punchestown Festival, where he won last year. He’ll be going chasing sooner rather than later.

Real Steel The Real Deal I wasn’t that surprised to see Real Steel beat Footpad at Thurles. I didn’t think the King George was a great race and Footpad had a hard enough race in it – he finished a tired horse. Real Steel was coming into the race fresher, off the back of a decent run when fourth in the John Durkan.

It was an improvement in form but it was a good performance from Real Steel. The race was run at a pretty steady pace. It didn’t go quickly early on and Footpad was a little bit keen.

I think Footpad still has plenty of questions to answer.

I’m not sure he’s as good as he was when he was a novice chaser, when he looked exceptional. I know he’s had issues but, to me, he doesn’t look to be firing on all cylinders yet.

Defi-nitely The Weekend’s Hightlight Defi Du Seuil put in the performance of the weekend. It was an outstanding performance. His jumping was flawless. Un De Sceaux’s a 12-year-old now, he’s not as quick as he was. He is a lot more settled horse than he was – he doesn’t go tearing off the way he used to. Paul Townend would have had to have been fairly forceful on Un De Sceaux to make him go quicker than he’s actually going.

You can pick holes in the rest of them if you want, but you can’t take anything away from Defi Du Seuil. It was an unbelievable performance.

Champion Chase
Altior has plenty of questions to answer. He hasn’t run since Ascot, when he was beaten by Cyrname and he’s had an interrupted preparation by the sound of things.

Things haven’t been going smoothly for him and he’s got to bounce back from a disappointing run. You’d like to see him have a run before the Champion Chase if you are going to have a bet on him.

I wouldn’t be ruling out Cyrname or A Plus Tard either. There’s plenty of strength in depth to the Champion Chase this year, not what it has been for the past couple of years where you had Altior as a very short-priced favourite.

Chacun Pour Soi is a hell of a good horse as well.

I think it could be a cracking race this year.

It’s the one race Willie Mullins hasn’t won at the Cheltenham Festival yet and I think he’ll be well represented this year with the likes of Chacun Pour Soi, Cilaos Emery and maybe Min. He’ll have plenty of ammunition to fire at the Champion Chase this year.

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