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Chacun Pour Soi makes plenty of appeal for Cheltenham Festival

Willie Mullins’ runner looks a very rare talent and the visual impression of Saturday’s win was backed up by a timefigure that was almost off the scale

The third Dublin Racing Festival over the last two days at Leopardstown was, by some margin, the best so far, thanks in no small part to the efforts of the track’s groundstaff and the decision to keep watering the track on Sunday morning despite 5mm of rain overnight. A repeat of 2019, when the final day saw 22 non-runners as a result of drying ground, was avoided, and Delta Work, whose connections were 50-50 at best about his chance of running on Saturday afternoon, was able to give Gordon Elliott his first win in the Irish Gold Cup and advance his claims for the Cheltenham Gold Cup next month.

The core at least of Ireland’s team for next month’s Festival is now complete, and the non-handicaps look nicely balanced with exactly half of the 18 favourites trained in Ireland and the other nine in Britain. A little surprisingly, though, only two of the the eight Grade One winners at Leopardstown this weekend are now the clear favourite for a race at Cheltenham next month, and one of those – Notebook, in the Arkle Trophy – was already at the head of the market before winning the Irish equivalent on Saturday.

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