Meade still mulling over Cheltenham trip for Jack
Noel Meade has not yet decided whether to let Texas Jack travel to Cheltenham to contest Saturday's Caspian Caviar Gold Cup.
The nine-year-old finished last of four in the JNwine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal which was dominated by the brilliant Don Cossack in late October, but is set for a drop in class after being given a chance by the handicapper.
Meade is still weighing up whether to send his charge to Prestbury Park or run him closer to home in the Foxrock Handicap Chase at Navan on Sunday.
Texas Jack's only previous appearance in a handicap from 19 starts over fences was in this summer's Galway Plate.
Meade said: "We're kind of betwixt and between. We haven't really decided whether to send him over (to Cheltenham) or take him to Navan on Sunday.
"We had been planning to take him over, but the race in Navan gives us another option, so we'll see.
"I haven't made my mind up yet and right now I'd say it's 50-50. He's come down in the weights so it gives him a chance in handicaps again."
Today at Punchestown, meanwhile, Willie Mullins' four-year-old Blazar makes his chase debut in the opening beginners' chase with stablemate Net D'Ecosse also featuring in the same race.
The Rich Ricci-owned Min - another of Mullins' French imports - will also be a tough one to beat in the Festival Hospitality On Sale Maiden Hurdle.
The trainer and owner pair up again with Thomas Hobson in the Buy Your Annual Membership Hurdle and should face tough competition from Jetstream Jack.
As always, Ruby Walsh is also one to watch aboard Micras in the Go Racing In Kildare Badge Handicap Hurdle.