Tranquil on track for Durkan repeat
Tranquil Sea has been given the green light by Edward O'Grady to attempt back-to-back victories in the John Durkan Memorial Chase at Punchestown on Sunday.
Winner of the Clonmel Oil Chase on his return to action last month, the nine-year-old would be meeting another previous winner of the Grade One contest, 2009 victor Joncol.
O'Grady said: "Tranquil Sea is in super form. He is a course and distance winner at Punchestown and we are very much looking forward to Sunday's race. Barry Geraghty will take the ride."
Paul Nolan added of Joncol: "We were very happy with his run at Thurles and he came out of the race fine. Preparations have gone well since and we hope he runs a decent race on Sunday."
Willie Mullins last won the race 10 years ago with the brilliant Florida Pearl and could give Kempes and Cooldine the chance to shine.
The trainer said: "Kempes has winning form at Punchestown and Cooldine ran well last time out, so we are looking forward to them both running in the John Durkan Memorial on Sunday." Stablemate Golden Silver is also one of eight confirmations for the race.
Rubi Light would be an interesting runner for Robbie Hennessy after his unlucky fall on his seasonal reappearance at Gowran, when he had Sizing Europe well beaten.
He missed the JNWine.com Champion Chase and the Betfair Chase with a minor setback, but is bang on target for the weekend.
Hennessy said: "At the moment Rubi Light is a definite runner in the John Durkan. He is in great form. He is schooling well and his last-fence fall at Gowran doesn't seem to have affected him in any way. We missed Down Royal as we just weren't 100% happy but he is ready for Sunday."
Trafford Lad is also on course and has had this race as his plan for some time. "We gave him a run in Navan, where he finished fourth behind Big Zeb, to get him ready for the Punchestown race. He came out of that very well and has been grand since so he should run a big race," said trainer Lar Butler.