Punchestown 2018 – Ladbrokes Champion Stayers’ Hurdle & Ryanair Novice Chase entries

The Willie Mullins-trained Penhill is among a high-class 32-strong entry for the €275,000 Grade 1 Ladbrokes Champion Stayers’ Hurdle on Day 3 of the Punchestown Festival on Thursday, 26th April.

The seven-year-old won the Grade 1 Stayers’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival on his seasonal comeback last month and could meet the runner-up that day, Supasundae, and the mare, La Bague Au Roi, for whom trainer Warren Greatrex has high hopes.

She was a Grade 2 winner at Ascot in January, before running below-par at Cheltenham and she will line up in an event her trainer won in 2016 with One Track Mind.

Top Irish trainer Gordon Elliott is well-represented among the entries and Delta Work, winner of the Pertemps Network Final at Cheltenham, could take the step up to Grade 1 company.

Jedd O’Keeffe’s stable star Sam Spinner, a Grade 1 winner at Ascot in December and fifth at Cheltenham, but who disappointed at Aintree on Saturday, may also join the line-up.

Other entries include the star mares Apple’s Jade and Benie Des Dieux, Faugheen and last year’s winner Unowhatimeanharry, trained in Britain by Harry Fry.

All eyes will be on Footpad, 14-length winner of the Grade 1 Arkle Challenge Trophy at Cheltenham, in the Grade 1 Ryanair Novice Chase, also on Day Three.

The mare Shattered Love, winner of the Grade 1 JLT Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham, is expected to line up while tow horses who have been saved for the race are the Pat Fahy-trained Castlegrace Paddy and Optimus Prime, trained by Dan Skelton.



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