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Patrick Mullins: 'Chacun Pour Soi can turn tables on A Plus Tard in two-mile chase to get us off to a flyer'

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Chacun Pour Soi has improved at home since
his run-out at Christmas. Photo: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Chacun Pour Soi has improved at home since his run-out at Christmas. Photo: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Getty Images

Chacun Pour Soi has improved at home since his run-out at Christmas. Photo: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Speed is the weapon of choice today with two-milers whizzing around Leopardstown's circuit.

The chasers take to the grid first with an intriguing clash of second-season novices serving it up to the reigning champion.

A Plus Tard stopped Chacun Pour Soi's hype like a buffer at the end of a train line at Christmas, however I believe he had everything in his favour that day.

He had a prep run and Rachael Blackmore was able to take Position A, behind the leaders and down the rail, from the start. I see that run being the full extent of his considerable ability.

Many of our horses have shown marked improvement on their second run. Think Sharjah, Appreciate It, Bapaume, Monkfish, Allaho and Total Recall.

This isn't WP's usual way of operating. For a variety of different reasons this season, he decided to take a different approach.

I expect to see a different beast in Chacun today than we did at Christmas and I'll be disappointed if he doesn't turn the form around with the admirable A Plus Tard.

Cilaos Emery is a fascinating contender who sneaks into this race with a shadow of the unknown draped around him.

This is despite 10 runs, six wins and a Grade One to his name. He is 3/3 over fences on top of that and adds more spice to an already bubbling cauldron.

He used to be his own worst enemy as a young horse, always doing too much too early in his races, but time, fences and a hood have mellowed his aggressive tendencies.

We don't know the full extent of his ability as a chaser. We intend to find out today.

They all have to first reach, and then surpass, Min. Victor in this race for the past two years, he also doubled his tally in the John Durkan on his last run.

He is nine now though and I just wonder has he become more effective over further.

Paul Townend believes so and has put his saddle on a changing of the guard. This race is an ocean storm in a jam-jar. It'll be riveting to see who sinks and who swims.

The Champion Hurdle picture has been like a pinball machine but I'm hoping Sharjah can confirm his top score from Christmas.

Initially I was concerned about the proximity of Petit Mouchoir but a close look at his form, specifically over hurdles, at two miles, when he makes the running, shows he is indeed a solid benchmark.

The dry ground that Leopardstown's free-draining track provides suits Sharjah's wicked turn of foot.

The fact that he can utilise it off a slow or fast pace is a massive advantage, as is the fact that you can settle him anywhere in a race.

Klassical Dream should not be written off, but there are obviously question marks about him since his Cantona-like effort at a hurdle last time. I do think he wants softer ground to be at his best at this trip.

Honeysuckle may well boast the best piece of individual form in the race from her defeat of Bacardys in the Hattons Grace but this is her first real test at the minimum trip.

She had the Fairyhouse race well won at two miles, though, so I don't see why the trip should be a worry and Petit Mouchoir will ensure it doesn't turn into a sprint.

I expect purple, blue, red and pink to be rainbowing at the second last but I think it'll be the boys in pink chasing down the girls in blue come the final flight.

I've been teasing Blackmore over Honeysuckle giving me a longer lead than Petit Mouchoir. It's a lead I hope to pickpocket rather than mug off her. Grab your binoculars, hold your breath and prepare to find out.

Patrick's Picks

1.25: Chacun Pour Soi

2.0: Bapaume

4.20: Appreciate It

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