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Smart prospects set for Punchestown

Gigginstown House Stud's squad of crack novices will give their owners a strong chance of further success at the Punchestown Festival.

Gigginstown aim to send a big team that includes several young recruits who are likely to be spread between the Grade One Herald Champion Novice Hurdle over two miles on April 23, the three-mile Grade One Irish Daily Mirror Novice Hurdle on April 24 and the Grade One Tattersalls Ireland Champion Novice Hurdle over two and a half miles on April 26.

"The plan is for Un Atout to run and he could go over two or two and a half miles, we'll keep the options open," said Gigginstown's racing manager Eddie O'Leary.

"Rule The World ran very well at Cheltenham and it will be two and a half or three miles for him. Don Cossack will hopefully go for the three-mile Irish Daily Mirror Novice Hurdle. Road To Riches may also run if he is OK after Aintree, while Midnight Oil, who won on Monday, could also line up, as could Cops And Robbers."

If underfoot conditions are suitable, soft ground-loving Tofino Bay, trained by Dessie Hughes, will go for the Grade One Growise Champion Novice Chase on April 23 after finishing second in the John Oaksey National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham.

The Tony Martin-trained Dedigout is another Gigginstown novice chaser with Punchestown in his sights.

"If the ground is right Tofino Bay will run in the Growise Champion Novice Chase and Dedigout is also likely to go there but I'm not sure of his target," said O'Leary.

Gigginstown are also eyeing the meeting's bumpers, with the Willie Mullins-trained unbeaten Outlander in line for the Grade One Betdaq The Peoples Exchange Champion INH Flat Race on April 24.

The Goffs Land Rover Bumper on April 23 is likely to feature the Gordon Elliott-trained Wrath Of Titans and Metaurus, who scored between the flags for Pat Doyle at Rathmorrissey last month.

"Hopefully, we will run Outlander in the Grade One and although he looks exciting, we will find out next week, and we plan to run Metaurus and Wrath Of Titans in the Goffs Land Rover Bumper," said O'Leary.


From Belfast Telegraph