Willie Mullins praised Un De Sceaux’s “incredible performance” after the veteran defended his Champion Chase crown at Punchestown.
The 11-year-old went into the race on the back of just two outings since winning the two-mile contest 12 months ago, finishing behind Altior in the Tingle Creek at Sandown and then recording a fifth-placed finish in the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
Stablemate Min was well-fancied to come out on top on this occasion on the back of a solid win in the JLT Chase at Aintree earlier in April. But Un De Sceaux failed to read the script as Paul Townend guided him into a leading position, which was not relinquished despite some late pressure from Min.
And, after watching Un De Sceaux claim his 23rd career victory by four lengths, Mullins said: “It was an incredible performance for an 11-year-old in a race like that – I think he’s probably older than the two hunt horses that led him in! “It’s unbelievable the energy he has and he comes out with that every morning.
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I’ve never had a horse with his enthusiasm – he just loves it. “Paul thought he was dead underneath him at the start, but the minute he faced him for the tape, he came alive. He said he was a passenger for three-quarters of the way, but that’s a great feeling for a jockey – being on a machine like that and jumping so well. “Un De Sceaux has come here a fresh horse compared to Min. Min had a very hard race in Aintree and maybe he needs an extra half-mile at this stage of his career.”Copyright © 2020 Completesports.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Completesports.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Completesports.com.