Minella Indo bids for famous double at Punchestown

Minella Indo heads a field of seven for the Ladbrokes Punchestown Gold Cup.

Henry de Bromhead’s eight-year-old will bid to become the fourth Cheltenham Gold Cup winner this century to complete the coveted double in the same season after Kicking King (2005), War Of Attrition (2006) and Sizing John (2017).

Jack Kennedy, who partnered Minella Indo to glory at Cheltenham, retains the ride on Wednesday.

He faces a four-pronged challenge from Willie Mullins’ stable, including last year’s winner Kemboy.

Al Boum Photo, winner of the Gold Cup in 2019 and 2020 and third this year, takes on Minella Indo again. Easy Game and Melon complete Mullins’ team.

Paul Nicholls sends over Clan Des Obeaux, winner of the Betway Bowl at Aintree this month, while Joseph O’Brien’s Fakir D’oudairies is the other contender.

Cheltenham Festival winners Galopin Des Champs and Vanillier clash in the Irish Mirror Novice Hurdle.

The latter lifted the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle for Gavin Cromwell, while the Mullins-trained Galopin Des Champs took the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle.

Vanillier will be out to follow up his Cheltenham success at Punchestown on Wednesday
Vanillier will be out to follow up his Cheltenham success at Punchestown on Wednesday (Tim Goode/PA)

Mullins also has Albert Bartlett fourth Stattler – with the third, John McConnell’s Streets Of Doyen, also in the mix in an eight-runner field.

Sir Gerhard, for the Mullins stable, is the headline act in the third Grade One race on the card, the ITM – Supporting Irish Store Sales Champion INH Flat Race.

The six-year-old attempts to take his perfect record under Rules to four after his success in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper at Cheltenham.

He got the better of stable companion Kilcruit by half a length that day, and the pair clash again in a mouth-watering contest.

Mick Halford’s Ardla, Eric Bloodaxe from Joseph O’Brien’s yard and Stuart Crawford’s O’Toole are also among the eight runners.

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