Willie Mullins has a strong hand as he bids to continue his domination of the Racing Post App Champion INH. Flat Race at Punchestown on Wednesday.
The champion trainer has saddled eight previous winners of this Grade One contest – including six of the last eight – and this year fires a three-pronged assault.
Stable companions Golden Spread and Mt Leinster renew rivalry just nine days after finishing first and second respectively at Fairyhouse. Patrick Mullins is keeping the faith in Mt Leinster, with Barry O’Neill maintaining his partnership with Golden Spread.
Jamie Codd is on board the other Mullins runner – Colreevy.
David Casey, Mullins’ assistant, said: “Golden Spread won well last week and he’s a tough horse who keeps galloping.
“Patrick rode Mt Leinster against him and is on him again, so he obviously thinks he can turn the tables.
“Colreevy ran a good race on her first start back in Fairyhouse and won the Grade Three mares’ bumper at this meeting last year.
“It doesn’t look a vintage renewal and hopefully they’ll be competitive.”
Gordon Elliott’s Abacadabras just about sets the standard after finishing fourth behind his esteemed stablemate Envoi Allen in the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham.
He is one of three runners for Gigginstown House Stud along with Noel Meade’s Beacon Edge and the Joseph O’Brien-trained Embittered, who makes his first appearance since placing third behind Envoi Allen at Leopardstown in February.
O’Brien said: “Embittered ran very well behind Envoi Allen at Leopardstown and we skipped Cheltenham as Punchestown was always the plan for him.
“He’s a lovely horse and that was a good run at Leopardstown, so I’m looking forward to letting him take his chance on Wednesday.”
Two British raiders, in Phil Kirby’s December Second and Paul Webber’s House Island, are also part of a 10-strong field.