Douvan and Min left in Champion Chase at Punchestown

Un De Sceaux also in the mix on day one of Festival

  • Thursday 25 April
  • News
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Douvan, Min and Un De Sceaux are all still in the mix for the BoyleSports Champion Chase on Tuesday.

A dozen horses have stood their ground for the two-mile showpiece on the opening day of the Punchestown Festival, with Willie Mullins holding a formidable hand.

Douvan has not been seen in competitive action since finishing second to stable companion Un De Sceaux when odds-on for this race a year ago.

Back in fourth that day was another Closutton inmate in Min, who returns following a scintillating display in the Melling Chase at Aintree.

Footpad and Great Field complete a Mullins quintet, while Tom George has confirmed 2016 winner God’s Own and Bun Doran.

Castlegrace Paddy (Pat Fahy), Doctor Phoenix (Gordon Elliott), Hardline (Elliott), Hell’s Kitchen (Harry Fry) and Ordinary World (Henry de Bromhead) are the other hopefuls.

Mullins also dominates the first Grade One of the week – the Herald Champion Novice Hurdle.

Supreme Novices’ Hurdle hero Klassical Dream spearheads an eight-strong Mullins team that also includes Aramon and Quick Grabim.

A 12-strong field at this stage is completed by Nicky Henderson’s Champagne Platinum, Elliott’s pair of Felix Desjy and Vision D’Honneur and the Mouse Morris-trained Sams Profile.

There are also 12 remaining contenders for the Dooley Insurance Champion Novice Chase over three miles, including Cheltenham Festival heroes Defi Du Seuil (Philip Hobbs) and A Plus Tard (De Bromhead). Elliott’s Delta Work and the Mullins-trained Getabird also feature.

Stable companions Al Boum Photo and Kemboy remain on course for a mouthwatering clash in Wednesday’s Coral Punchestown Gold Cup.

Al Boum Photo provided Mullins with an elusive first victory in the Cheltenham Gold Cup last month, a race in which Kemboy unseated his rider shortly after the first fence.

However, Kemboy has since bounced back with a dominant victory at Aintree and Mullins is ready to let the two do battle next week.

Mullins has also left in last year’s Punchestown Gold Cup hero Bellshill – who was pulled up at Cheltenham – as well as Irish Grand National casualty Pairofbrowneyes and the mercurial Yorkhill.

Elliott has confirmed Delta Work and The Storyteller, while De Bromhead has Monalee and Sub Lieutenant in the mix.

Noel Meade’s Snow Falcon and Brian Ellison’s British raider Definitly Red complete the list of 11 possibles.

The first of three Grade Ones on day two of the Festival is the Daily Mirror Novice Hurdle. Allaho and Carefully Selected are among several Mullins-trained contenders in the three-mile contest, while Elliott’s team includes Battleoverdoyen and Commander Of Fleet.

Top-level honours are also up for grabs in the Racing Post-sponsored Champion Bumper, for which 16 horses have stood their ground.

The main event on day three is the Ladbrokes Champion Stayers Hurdle.

Mullins is responsible for 10 of the 21 contenders, which include Melon, Benie Des Dieux and Laurina.

Fry’s Unowhatimeanharry and Elliott’s star mare Apple’s Jade are others to stand their ground.

Arkle Trophy hero Duc Des Genievres is the headline attraction in the Ryanair Novice Chase.

He is part of a Mullins squad that also features Chacun Pour Soi and last Sunday’s Ryanair Gold Cup hero Voix Du Reve.

The potential opposition includes Defi Du Seuil and De Bromhead’s pair of Aintree winners Moon Over Germany and Ornua.

Douvan and Min left in Champion Chase at Punchestown
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