Min on course to bid for John Durkan hat-trick

Hat-trick seeker Min heads 11 in contention for the John Durkan Punchestown Memorial Chase.

Willie Mullins’ nine-year-old has bagged Sunday’s two-and-a-half-mile feature on his seasonal bow in each of the last two campaigns.

Min, winner of the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival on his last start back in March, is one of five entries for Mullins – along with fellow Rich Ricci-owned runner Chacun Pour Soi, who proved too good in the Dublin Chase last term before having to sidestep Cheltenham.

The Cheveley Park-owned Allaho, third in the RSA Chase in March, is another Mullins possible – as well as narrow Marsh Novices’ Chase second Melon and Tornado Flyer, who was fifth in that race and already has a run under his belt this term.

Samcro emerged victorious in the Marsh for Gordon Elliott – and the much-touted eight-year-old is in this weekend’s potential field following his third place behind re-opposing stablemate Battleoverdoyen at Down Royal.

Joseph O’Brien could also be double-handed with dual Grade One-winning novice Le Richebourg a possible to have his first start since February 2019, while stablemate Mortal has already run five times this season.

Also in the line-up is the Henry de Bromhead-trained Chris’s Dream, who was edged into second in Down Royal’s Champion Chase on his return – a race in which another possible contender, Noel Meade’s Tout Est Permis, finished third.

Allaho, Chacun Pour Soi, Le Richebourg and Melon all have an alternative entry on Sunday in Cork’s Grade Two Kerry Group Hilly Way Steeplechase, over an extended two miles.

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