Owned by Mrs. Susan Ricci and trained, since December, 2016, by Willie Mullins, Chacun Pour Soi is a lightly-raced eight-year-old steeplechaser, who has the distinction of being the highest-rated National Hunt horse in training. Previously trained by Emmanuel Clayeux in Vaumas, France, Chacun Pour Soi did not make his debut for Mullins until March, 2019, but quickly advertised his superstar potential.
The son of Policy Maker opened his account for his new connections at the first attempt, making all the running and jumping well for an impressive, 31-length win in a beginners’ chase at Naas. Less than two months later, in May, 2019, he was stepped up to Grade One company for the first time, in the Ryanair Novice Chase at Punchestown. Forsaken by jockey Paul Townend in favour of better-fancied stablemate Duc Des Genievres, he nevertheless took the lead at the second last fence and stayed on well in the closing stages to beat favourite Defi Du Seuil – who had won the JLT Novices’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival on his previous start – by 4¼ lengths.
Chacun Pour Soi did not reappear until the following December, when turned over, at odds of 8/15, in the Paddy’s Reward Club Chase at Leopardstown. He was not seen again in public until February, 2020, but resumed winning ways when accounting for stablemate Min in the Ladbrokes Dublin Chase over the same course and distance. He was, understandably, strongly fancied for the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival, but was a late withdrawal after being found to be slightly lame with an abscess in one of his feet. Nevertheless, his Timeform rating of 176p suggests he is likely to make more than normal progress and he heads the ante post market for the 2021 Queen Mother Champion Chase.
Time flies doesn’t it! Australia’s most highly anticipated thoroughbred race the Melbourne Cup is now just around the corner, on 3rd November, and once again an eager public will be tuned in to watch in their millions both at home and abroad. In such a tough year due to the coronavirus, it’s both a relief and an escape that we get to lose ourselves in a moment of sporting excellence. At 3pm (EDST) it will be time to cheer on your selection and soak in that famous Melbourne Cup atmoshere brought to as as per usual at the Flemington race course in Melbourne, Australia.
With history stretching back one and a half centuries and the some, where have certainly been no shortage of notewrothy and pivital moments during the Melbourne Cup over the years. From Archer becoming the first horse to win the Cup twice way back in 1861, to over a hundred years later when the course length was changed slightly in length, all the way to the modern day where in 2015 Michelle Payne became the first woman to win the Melbourne Cup (on Prince of Penzance at massive odds of 100-1). It would’ve been nice to have had a wager on that one.
Fast forwardng to the present, the 2020 race features a who’s who of horse racing talent, in terms of equine and human alike. And who can blame the best of the best all making a beeline for a race that brings with it such lucrative reward and just as importantly the rare opportunity to cement their name and place in Australian racing history. Current favourite to win this prestigious race in 2020 is Irish horse Tiger Moth at a relatively short 11/2, he’s just coming off a convincing win in the Group 3 Kilternan Stakes. Hot on his heels there are a whole slew of contenders, with Sir Dragonet at 7-1, Anthony Van Dyck at 8-1, Surprise Baby at 9-1 and Russian Camelot at 12-1. If outsiders are more your thing, a punt on Ashrun at a generous 25-1 might be the bet for you.
Hopefully a summary of those in with a shot creates a bit of excitement in the run-up to the race. With sport off the national agenda in a meaningful way for a time, it will be pleasing to turn on the TV and let the racing do the talking. Whether you’re having a fun bet, are taking a more analytical approach or will simply be soaking in the competitive action without opening your wallet, do enjoy the race!
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Hailed by jockey William Buick as ‘the best I’ve ridden, without a doubt’, Ghaiyyath was retired from racing after finishing a close second in the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown in September, 2020, as the second highest-rated Flat horse in Europe, according to Timeform. He earned a Timeform rating of 133 when comfortably beating Enable by 2¼ lengths in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown in July and recorded one of the performances of the season when, once again, making all the running to Magical by 3 lengths in the Juddmonte International Stakes at York the following month.
All told, Ghaiyyath won nine of his 13 races, finished outside the first three just once – on ‘very soft’ going in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp in 2019 – and amassed just shy of £880,00 in win and place prize money. Aside from the Coral-Eclipse and the Juddmonte International Stakes, he also won the Coronation Cup at Newmarket on his seasonal reappearance in 2020, beating 2019 Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck by 2½ lengths and breaking the course record in the process.
Originally, the plan was to bid for a fifth success at Group One, or Grade One, level in the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Keeneland, Kentucky in November, 2020. However, Ghaiyyath was reported to be sore following a routine piece of work at home, on the gallops of Moulton Paddocks, Newmarket and connections took the decision to retire him to Kildangan Stud in Co. Kildare, Ireland. Trainer Charlie Appleby said of the five-year-old, ‘It is obviously disappointing not to be taking him to the Breeders’ Cup, but the exertions of a long season, which started in Dubai in January, were starting to show…’