Energumene won a dramatic running of the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase for Paul Townend and Willie Mullins.

The much-anticipated rematch between the Irish star (5-2) and Nicky Henderson's Shishkin did not materialise as the latter never looked happy and was pulled up five fences from home.

Mullins’ other contender, Chacun Pour Soi, parted company with his rider and it was Venetia Williams’ Funambule Sivola who came home in second by eight and a half lengths, with Envoi Allen a further four and a half lengths back in third.

It is the eight-time Festival leading trainer's first ever victory in this race, the last championship event that had eluded him.

Mullins said: "We just thought we got the tactics completely wrong at Ascot so the plan today was to follow Shishkin.

"The problem Paul then had was you could see after two fences Shishkin wasn't handling the ground so it then became a case of when was Paul going to forget about Shishkin and ride the race. Nico was wise in pulling Shishkin up, you could clearly see he hated the ground.

"I was very disappointed to see Chacun Pour Soi go out of the race when he did. I was gutted for Patrick (Mullins) because he appeared to be loving it. He might have given him a race.

"At every stage, though, Energumene seemed to be cantering and these extreme conditions suit him.

"He probably has more speed than we thought, at Ascot we felt after the race we should have waited rather than make all.

"That was the only plan I could come up with to turn the tables on Shishkin.

"It was a bit of an anti-climax for the neutrals but it was more nerve-wracking for me because you could see he was travelling the whole way."

He added: "It’s great to finally win it, it’s great for Paul and great for Tony Bloom (owner). When the rain came he began to get very confident."

Willie Mullins finally celebrates a Champion Chase victory

Bloom, who is also the owner of Brighton & Hove Albion football club, said: "I did believe, I believe in Willie and in Paul Townend, who rode a magnificent race. The rain really helped us, we were praying for rain and were all getting really wet, but we're delighted to be wet.

"He's an amazing horse and we were confident going in, he’s won the Champion Chase and it’s brilliant.

"We were very excited, four or five out we were getting very confident. Obviously Shishkin pulled up and that made it a lot easier for us, but full credit to Energumene. A brilliant horse, we’re having a great time."

Townend told ITV Racing: "I was on a very good horse and you can make it look easy then. He'd won on very heavy ground in Ireland so that wasn't going to worry us.

"It didn’t work in Ascot and the tactics kind of went out the window early on as well, he was enjoying himself. I let him jump up there and just kept holding on to him."

Nicky Henderson, trainer of pulled-up Shishkin, said the ground was never going to suit the favourite, who had got the better of Energumene in their first meeting in the Clarence House Chase at Ascot.

"He seems fine," Henderson told Racing TV. "Nico has pulled him up and said he's absolutely fine.

"To be honest, you could tell going to the first fence he wasn’t where he wanted to be and I knew why. He just couldn’t get out of it.

"Yes he’s won in soft ground but you’re going round in heavy ground and that’s just not his scene.

"Yes [the stewards] put some water on, because last night, coming down the hill, where it can be a dangerous place to be, was getting quick.

"They say that you have to act accordingly. The forecast didn’t predict... yes, there were showers around, but not this. They did their best. They took a decision.

"It is what it is. I’m not blaming anyone, that’s for certain."

Henry de Bromhead said of Envoi Allen and Put The Kettle on: "I thought Envoi ran a cracker, I wouldn't have mind seeing him on better ground.

"His wind just catches him out, especially on that ground, but I thought he ran a blinder, he jumped really well.

"The mare (Put The Kettle On) was a little bit disappointing."