Willie Mullins and Paul Townend had a day to remember at day two of the Leopardstown Christmas Festival for 2020.
The pair combined for a big-race treble, spearheaded by a scintillating performance from Chacun Pour Soi (4/7 favourite) in the Grade One Paddy’s Rewards Club Chase.
At eight years old, Chacun hardly put a foot wrong when disposing of Henry de Bromhead’s Notebook (7/2) by six and a half lengths to strengthen his position as the leading two-mile chaser with a return to Leopardstown for the Dublin Racing Festival in February next on his agenda.
Mullins and Townend also took the other Grade One up for grabs with Champion Bumper runner-up Appreciate It (7/4 favourite) making it two from two over the smaller obstacles when turning the Paddy Power Future Champions Novice Hurdle into a procession.
Appreciate It had tongues wagging when coming home nine lengths clear in a flawless display while things got even better for Mullins when top-weight Castlebawn West (13/2) made every post a winning one under the Cork jockey to land the Paddy Power Chase.
The €150,000 contest is normally one of the most competitive handicaps of the jumps season, but Castlebawn West dictated affairs from the front to coast home by four and a half lengths, earning quotes for the Gold Cup and the Aintree Grand National in the process.
The most impressive winner of the day, however, came in the opener when the Denis O’Regan-ridden French Aseel (7/2 favourite) ran out a 22-length winner of the Paddy Power “Only 4 More Days Until 2021′” 3yo Maiden Hurdle for Kilkenny trainer Ellmarie Holden.
Racing on Day 3
Savills Day on 28 December features the Savills Chase (Grade 1), a race rich in history that has been won by legends of the turf such as Beef or Salmon, Tidal Bay and Bobs Worth.
The feature race is a key indicator of the best-staying chasers in Ireland and is the target for all the leading yards the Savills Chase always produces a memorable finish.
Here’s how the race card for day three looks.
The Tote.ie Maiden Hurdle
The Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle
The Ballymaloe Foods Beginners Steeplechase
The Leopardstown Christmas Hurdle (Grade 1)
The Irish Daily Star Christmas Novice Handicap Hurdle