Mullins Champ Fancied

Sandown Racing looks entertaining

Champion trainer Willie Mullins raids England with five-time Gr1 winner Chacun Pour Soi this afternoon at 16h25.

The highest rated chaser in the UK with a rating of 176 is favoured to land the Gr1 Betfair Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown under Patrick Mullins.

Willie Mullins

The nine-year-old will face four rivals on his first run for the season, following a dominant display at the Punchestown Festival in April when victorious in the Irish Champion Chase.

He also finished third in the Cheltenham Champion Chase and is “ready to go” according to the stable; although more rain on the track would be welcomed.

Nube Negra, who was runner-up in the Cheltenham Champion Chase, reapposes for the Skelton yard following a taking Gr2 victory in the Shloer Chase last month.

Dan Skelton believes his rising star has improved again since his comeback success as he attempts to secure Group One glory.

The trainer said: “It is a Grade One and Willie is bringing over Chacun Pour Soi who is very good and though it’s his first start of the season I wouldn’t think he will be needing the run.”

“We beat him at Cheltenham in the Champion Chase, but he beat us on slower ground at Punchestown at the back end of the season. I’ve got our horse as well as I can have him. The forecast looks like it will give us decent ground which suits us a lot.”

“A repeat of that Cheltenham run will put him very close and with Chacun Pour Soi there he will maybe need a little bit more, but I think he has improved a bit.”

“It’s a strong contest and the fences around Sandown will make it a real test. We are looking to get that Grade One by his name. It is great to have a runner in a Grade One with a real chance.”

Sandown’s Saturday card also features the Gr1 Henry VIII Novices’ Chase(15h50), won last year by Allmankind for the Skelton’s.

Third Time Lucki represents last year’s winning stable, with the six-year-old novice chaser winning both his starts over fences at Cheltenham. On both occasions, his jumping was very fluent, and he travelled easily throughout. He tackles stronger here with the promising hurdler Edwardstone contesting after scoring an easy novice chase win at Warwick last month.

His jumping however was not as efficient as the Harry Skelton ridden favourite who is taken to complete his hattrick over fences.


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