Energumene dominant in Champion Chase again as Willie Mullins enjoys more Cheltenham Festival success


Energumene made it back-to-back Champion Chase victories with a dominant showing in the feature race on Wednesday at the Cheltenham Festival.

As the rain fell, his price shortened and with good reason, as the potential head-to-head with Edwardstone never materialised. Energumene moved to the front round the bend and never looked back, jumping the last well and cruising up the hill.

Captain Guinness ran a good race but was still a distance second, with Greaneteen coming home third and a struggling Edwardstone never really in the race.

It was Willie Mullins’ 92nd Cheltenham winner, and his fourth of the week, and Paul Townend was able to soak up the atmosphere once Energumene cleared the last.

“He was perfect everywhere,” the winning jockey told ITV.

“He jumped brilliant. You don’t win champion races in that manner normally. He’s a pleasure to ride.”

Energumene owner, and Brighton chairman, Tony Bloom had an afternoon to remember at Prestbury Park, before his focus turns to the Seagulls’ derby clash with Crystal Palace on Wednesday night.

“He has done me proud,” Bloom told BBC. “He ran a magnificent race and totally deserved to win.

“We are so fortunate to have such an amazing horse. He didn’t run at his best last time out but has shown his class today.”

Delta Work also went back-to-back, proving too strong again in the Cross Country Chase. Having seen off Tiger Roll 12 months ago, it was stablemate Galvin that challenged up the hill this time, and the pair will now turn their attention to the Grand National.

Earlier in the day, Impaire Et Passe roared home in the Ballymore Novice Hurdle, as Hermes Allen, part-owned by Sir Alex Ferguson, disappointed in the opening race on Ladies’ Day.

The Real Whacker edged out a fast-finishing Gerri Colombe in a thrilling Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase, while it was Langer Dan taking Coral Cup glory for the Skelton brothers.

In the final race of the day, 18-year-old John Gleeson rode A Dream To Share, a horse bred by his father, to victory in his first ever Cheltenham race.