15:05 - Champion Chase
Only one place to start here and that is Chacun Pour Soi, winner of 6 of his 7 races for Mullins with 4 of those coming in Grade 1’s. He has as many Grade 1 wins as the rest of the field put together. On official ratings he is 5lb clear of the field, he is simply the best 2-mile chaser in training. You will hear people say he cannot win because it’s at Cheltenham which is simply rubbish. Yes, this is his first run at the track (missed last year through injury) but that fact didn’t stop Master Minded absolutely hosing up in this race a few years ago. Until its proven on track there is nothing to say he won't relish Cheltenham. To be fair he is that far ahead of the rest he could hate the place and still win!
So what’s the opposition?
Politalogue won a soft race last year, he wins some he loses some, a decent horse but not a real champion.
Put The Kettle on is 3 from 3 here and won the Arkle last year. He can go well but does not have the class of the favourite and has already finished behind him this year.
For me Dan Skelton is not a Championship race winner so that rules out Nube Negra.
I do like First Flow who is improving at a rapid rate of knots, thought to need an absolute bog he won a Grade one on soft last time at Ascot and very well deserved it was for him and trainer Kim Bailey. The ground here is the issue soft on day 1 it is going to dry out this week and the question is can Fast Flow improve enough to cope with it?
If the going ends up good by race time Rouge Vif comes right into the equation as he is 3 from 3 on good ground. He has been lightly raced this season and could be a huge player.
In summary I expect both First Flow and Rouge Vif to go well but Chacun Pour Soi is the class horse here, he deserves to win, he should win, he will win,
CHACUN POUR SOI (WIN)
ROUGE VIF (E/W)
written by Steve Marriott