Three Cheltenham Festival winners are among 31 entries for next month’s Ryanair Novice Chase at Fairyhouse – won last year by subsequent Gold Cup hero Al Boum Photo.
Willie Mullins’ Arkle winner Duc Des Genievres, Henry de Bromhead’s wide-margin Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase scorer A Plus Tard and Philip Hobbs’ JLT victor Defi Du Seuil all have the Easter option over two and a half miles on April 21.
Mullins has nine others in the mix for the Grade One, including Chacun Pour Soi and Camelia De Cotte.
Along with Defi Du Seuil, Mick Channon’s Glen Forsa, Harry Fry’s Bags Groove and the Kim Bailey-trained Vinndication are other British-trained possibles.
RSA Chase third Delta Work looks the pick of Gordon Elliott’s eight entries – while Articulum, who filled the same position in the Arkle, Kaiser Black and Winter Escape are others to note.
On the same afternoon, the Irish Stallion Farms EBF(Mares) Novice Hurdle has attracted 27 entries – with De Bromhead’s unbeaten Honeysuckle, who was forced out of Cheltenham by injuury, a possible to return.
The one-two from the Dawn Run at Cheltenham – Eglantine Du Seuil, Noel Fehily’s farewell Festival winner, and Concertista, second on her debut for Mullins – are set to take each other on again.
Jonjo O’Neill’s Annie Mc, a winner at Newbury last weekend, and Stuart Edmunds’ Queenohearts are the only British entries.
Peter Roe, general manager of Fairyhouse, said: “Our twin feature races on Easter Sunday are firmly established as key events in the jumps calendar, and we are delighted with the strength and depth of entries for both.
“Last year’s Ryanair Gold Cup winner Al Boum Photo went on to claim the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup, and the race was one of the most informative novice chases of the season. To have three Cheltenham novice-chase winners entered for the Ryanair Gold Cup is a great testament to the race.
“The Grade One Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Novice Hurdle has attracted the first four home from the mares’ novice hurdle at Cheltenham – and it will be intriguing to see how they fare against the impressive Honeysuckle, who won her maiden hurdle here at Fairyhouse in November and returned to the course to land the Solerina Hurdle at the end of January.”