Leading Irish trainer Willie Mullins has an arsenal of horses as ever at is disposal for the jumps season ahead but the horse that seems to be his leading light is the lightly raced Chacun Pour Soi for owner Rich Ricci.
The seven year old has only had two starts for the yard since joining from France back in December 2016 but has shown plenty of ability on both his runs being unbeaten in Ireland.
Having not raced since March 2016 he went to Naas for his first run in nearly exactly three years in a Beginners Chase and showed a perfect temperament to take the spoils by 31 lengths.
He was then sent to the Punchestown festival with many punters still unaware of the ability of this horse but he gave one of the stand out performances of the meeting, beating the Arkle Novices Chase winner Duc Des Genievres and JLT Novices Chase victor Defi Du Seuil to land the Grade One Ryanair Novices Chase.
Mullins will look to aim him at the Champion Chase at the 2020 Cheltenham festival with Altior now stepping up to three miles it offers the trainer his best ever chance of landing the Grade One for the first time in his career.
(Credit At The Races) Mullins is very excited by this horse and said: “Yes. He’s in great order.
“We’d been waiting for him to come out for a long time last season, but his run at Punchestown was exceptional.
“We have to try to repeat that form this year. He’s in the John Durkan (at Punchestown next month), but there’ll be others. I wouldn’t want him and Min against each other at this point in time.
“He’s comfortable at two miles, but I don’t mind going out in trip. He’ll get an entry in the Hilly Way, and there are not many more two-mile races around before Christmas.
“He’s not fragile, but different things have happened – and because he’s so good, I’ve been inclined to give him more of a break.
“Last year, when he came right, it was too late to go to Cheltenham – but I wanted to get him going. Sometimes when you get them on the track they stay sounder, and he’s been good this year.
“I don’t think ground is an issue- he’s a good horse, he’ll go on any ground.
“The John Durkan is probably the one definite place I can aim with Min – he likes the track, and if he’s fine he’ll go there.”