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Horse Racing profile: Chacun Pour Soi

Willie Mullins paid tribute to a special horse when six-time Grade 1 winner Chacun Pour Soi was retired from racing at the age of 11 in July 2023.

Prepared for a crack at the Ryanair Chase, the stable star failed to make an impression and finished last of nine runners, which means he bows out without a win at Prestbury Park.

His new home is with former jockey Katie Walsh, and we haven't seen the last of Chacun Pour Soi, as he will be used to do post-race interviews with winning jockeys on RTE's racing coverage.

What could have been?

It's tough not to conclude that Chacun Pour Soi most likely had his chance to shine in the 2021 Queen Mother Champion Chase, a contest he was 8/13 favourite to win, but he could only manage third behind the mare Put The Kettle On and Rouge Vif.

He appeared to be moving as well as any turning for home, but didn't find as much as looked likely in the final stages, something that has often been labelled at this superb jumper.

Many of his standout performances have come when it was his jumping and speed through the air that made him stand out, allied to an ability to turn on the taps in the middle third of a race when he'd take his rivals from their comfort zone and build for himself an advantage.

Often in those races it looked as though he would cruise to victory, only for Paul Townend to end up working harder than expected late on to preserve the gap.

And so it was that afternoon at Cheltenham, that he had travelled well into contention but his rivals were side-by-side with him jumping the last and Chacun Pour Soi couldn't brush them aside as the odds suggested he might.

Two failed attempts since, which saw him unseat his rider in 2022 before finishing last this year, suggested maybe it was time to give up the ghost.

Irish showing a positive

After the poor showing at Cheltenham, Chacun Pour Soi then managed a third-placed effort at Cork, before then finding only one better in the Champion Chase at Punchestown in April.

Stablemate Energumene claimed the spoils that day, winning by three quarters of a length, and he looked to be the dominant force in the 2m division but is likely to miss the upcoming season through injury.

It is no surprise that connections decided enough was enough for Chacun Pour Soi. At his age, he doesn't stand a chance of being able to mix it with the yard's El Fabiolo - who is Evens with bet365 for the 2024 Champions Chase.

Retirement a wise choice

While Chacun Pour Soi showed plenty of spirit in that latest second over in Ireland, there was always the feeling another Cheltenham Festival trip was one step too far.

He will be 12 years of age when the next Festival comes around and that is too old, even for a horse trained by the great Mullins, to seriously compete at that level.

Chacun Pour Soi will have a fantastic life now in the hands of Walsh, and he was even on duty for Irish Derby day at the Curragh, lapping up the attention.

Mullins paid tribute to a special horse and said: "He was just the most fantastic horse and a pleasure to have around the place. He was a horse of a lifetime really, to win as many Grade 1s as he did. He was brilliant to watch when he was on song.

"Chacun was just the perfect gentleman, so uncomplicated, and I can certainly see why Katie eyed him up for his new job. He would be perfect for something like that as he's so relaxed."

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