Blue Lord emerged as a possible risk to Queen Mom Champion Chase-winning stablemate Energumene following a powerful success within the Paddy’s Rewards Membership Chase at Leopardstown.
The seven-year-old was within the prime rank of novice chasers final season for Willie Mullins, with Grade One wins at Leopardstown and Punchestown sandwiching a 3rd place within the Arkle at Cheltenham.
Having made a profitable reappearance in final month’s Clonmel Oil Chase, Blue Lord dropped in journey and stepped up at school for this Grade One contest and was the 2-1 second-favourite behind his top-class stablemate and a number of Leopardstown winner Chacun Pour Soi.
The 2-mile-one-furlong contest was run at such a tempo that Chacun Pour Soi, who will formally flip in 11 in just a few days, seemed to be struggling to go the gallop.
He managed to get himself into competition approaching the second fence from house, however a nasty mistake put him on the again foot as soon as extra and he finally needed to make do with minor honours in third.
Blue Lord however travelled strongly all through below Daryl Jacob and after battling his approach to the entrance early within the house straight, he powered 11 lengths away from Captain Guinness.
Coral reacted by trimming his Champion Chase odds to 10-1 from 20-1, with Energumene the 4-5 favorite, whereas he’s 6-1 from 12s for the longer Ryanair Chase.
Mullins stated: “That was very sensible, I assumed they’d go too quick for him right here they usually did go quick.
“I used to be two and a half miles for him this yr, but it surely appears like he could possibly be a Champion Chase horse after that efficiency. Definitely the dial is coming again to 2 miles now reasonably than going out to 2 and a half. It simply means he is bettering.
“I have never thought of the place he goes however I am certain there’s a programme there for these two-mile horses.”
Of Chacun Pour Soi, he added: “I used to be completely delighted with him – he began to place in some great jumps down the again.
“He simply met the second-last all unsuitable and it knocked him out of the race at an important time, however I used to be very heartened by his efficiency.
“Possibly he simply must exit a bit longer in journey at his age. Paul was very happy with how he was going, however he made the error and it price him no matter probability he had.”