CHACUN Pour Soi justified long odds-on favouritism with an easy win on his return at Cork.
The top two-miler won the Kerry Group Hilly Way Chase in a canter – cementing his position at the head of the betting for the Champion Chase.
He faced just four rivals in the Grade 2, with Chosen Mate, Sizing Pottsie and Daly Tiger scratched from the contest.
And he could be called the winner a long way from home as he cruised along in behind the leaders under Paul Townend.
He was five lengths clear and in command when Cash Back crashed out at the last, bringing down Djingle in the process, with Darasso the only other finisher in a distant second.
Chacun Pour Soi was trimmed into 3-1 from 7-2 for the Champion Chase with Coral, with Altior (6-1) and Politologue (8-1) next in line.
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The Willie Mullins-trained eight-year-old was well-fancied for the race in March but was ruled out at the 11th hour with a minor setback.
Coral's David Stevens said: "With his chief market rival, Altior, still to prove his wellbeing on the track this season, Chacun Pour Soi is a clear favourite in the Champion Chase betting following his winning return to action."
Townend opted to ride Chacun Pour Soi rather than head to Punchestown to partner Min in the Grade 1 John Durkan – and he was pleased with the feel the horse gave him.
He said: "It was a great start for him. He was fairly asleep early on in the race and got a good blow into himself.
"He had the other two well beaten when they fell at the last and was entitled to win. Thankfully he did and it's good to get him back on the track.
"Touch wood, he's deadly – I don't want to put the mockers on him. He's very good.
"The other two have to show their hands earlier with the way they race, he just had that bit of class.
"He took a good blow and I think he'll come on plenty for it."
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