Chacun Pour Soi produced another imperious display to dominate his rivals in the Ladbrokes Dublin Chase at Leopardstown.
The Willie Mullins-trained nine-year-old was the 2-5 favourite to successfully defend his crown in the two-mile-one-furlong contest, having proved too strong for stablemate Min – winner of the race in 2018 and 2019 – in last year's renewal.
Min was once again in opposition, but two bad mistakes racing down the back straight led to him being pulled up by the trainer’s son Patrick, leaving Chacun Pour Soi travelling strongly in behind Notebook and Fakir D’oudairies.
Odds-on backers would have been happy as Paul Townend’s mount moved powerfully into the home straight, before taking command on the run to the final fence.
A huge leap sealed matters, and it was impossible to be anything but impressed by the way he pulled right away on the run-in to beat Fakir D’oudairies by eight lengths.
Chacun Pour Soi is now an odds-on favourite to provide Mullins with a first victory in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, after being forced to miss the race last year following a minor setback on the morning of the race.
"It was a very good performance. I was a little bit worried going to the third-last if Paul had anything left in the tank, as he seemed to be niggling," said Mullins.
"After the second-last I thought he wasn't putting the race to bed or anything. Paul felt that he was in command at all stages.
"He just wanted to get down to the last, jump it, and then go. The end result was very good.
"I was worried over the third- and second-last, but Paul said he was just asleep underneath him.
"They didn’t hang around. Min set off to make the pace and then Notebook joined him. Notebook was probably just slicker in the air and Min paid the penalty for that later on."
He added: "Min seems to be fine, Patrick got off and thought he was fine. It didn’t work out for him today, but the other guy was awesome."
Two races down, two impressive Willie Mullins-trained winners. Here's what the handler of Chacun Pour Soi and Gaillard Du Mesnil made of their victories at Leopardstown. #DublinRacingFestival #rteracing pic.twitter.com/srIxtFKWwh— RTÉ Racing (@RTEracing) February 6, 2021