Champion Chase runners and riders plus Punchestown tips from our experts

Who are our experts predicting will triumph in the big race on day one?

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The Champion Chase is the feature race on the first day of the Punchestown Festival 2021. Chacun Pour Soi faces the fresh threat of Allaho dropping back in trip while Nube Negra and First Flow crossing the Irish Sea adds extra spice to the mix for what should be an electric two-mile chase.

Champion Chase Runners and Riders

Allaho

Jockey: Rachael Blackmore
Trainer: Willie Mullins

An impressive winner of the Ryanair Chase at last month’s Cheltenham Festival, Allaho drops back in trip to test his two-mile credentials ahead of next season.

Allaho Rachael Blackmore Ryanair Chase Cheltenham March 18, 2021

Castlegrace Paddy

Jockey: B J Cooper
Trainer: P A Fahy

Beat Cheltenham Gold Cup second A Plus Tard in a Grade 2 at the start of the season but has performed poorly since and is the outsider.

Chacun Pour Soi

Jockey: Paul Townend
Trainer: Willie Mullins

A rare miss for Willie Mullins’ star two-miler in the Queen Mother Champion Chase when fading up the hill at Cheltenham and it was the first time finishing outside the top two since switching to Closutton.

Chacun Pour Soi Put The Kettle On Nube Negra Queen Mother Champion Chase Cheltenham March 17, 2021

Cilaos Emery

Jockey: B Hayes
Trainer: Willie Mullins

Beat Melon in the 2017 Champion Novice Hurdle at Punchestown but finished eighth of nine in last month’s Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham.

First Flow

Jockey: David Bass
Trainer: Kim Bailey

A six-race winning streak over fences was ended when sixth in the Queen Mother Champion Chase and is back racing on a right-handed track.

Nube Negra

Jockey: Harry Skelton
Trainer: Dan Skelton

Nube Negra beat Altior in December’s Desert Orchid Chase and was impressive when finishing second to Put The Kettle On in the Queen Mother Champion Chase.

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Champion Chase Tips

Ruby Walsh: “Paul Townend’s conviction and belief in Chacun Pour Soi has definitely persuaded me that he’s as good as ever. I thought he was very disappointing at Cheltenham and he should have won but he faded on the run-in.

“Paul is convinced that we haven’t seen the best of Chacun Pour Soi and was in no doubt about who he’d ride of the two. That’s swayed me away from Allaho and towards CHACUN POUR SOI.”

Frank Hickey: “Allaho was amazing in the Ryanair but he was initially thought to be a Gold Cup horse and will he be able to burn off speedier horses here? He will need to have them beaten two out, I think.

“I just think the race will set up perfectly for CHACUN POUR SOI and this easier track will definitely suit better.”

Mick Fitzgerald: “The faster they go, the better it will suit Nube Negra and he could be the surprise package at a track that will really suit him for the Dan Skelton team. Harry Skelton was crowned Champion UK Jumps jockey last week and the brothers have had a magnificent season.

“I’m sticking with CHACUN POUR SOI to bounce back.”

Champion Chase Betting

Chacun Pour Soi 11/8
Allaho 6/4
Nube Negra 4/1
First Flow 16/1
Cilaos Emery 33/1
Castlegrace Paddy 66/1

Check out Paddy Power’s latest odds for the Champion Chase by clicking HERE.

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

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