Mullins to consider Min and 'Sceaux' for Leopardstown
Willie Mullins has opted to leave both Min and Un De Sceaux in his team for next Wednesday's two-mile Paddy's Rewards Club Chase at Leopardstown.
The Closutton supremo saddled Douvan to lift the Grade One prize last term and even though that one is sidelined by injury, he still has two leading contenders.
Former Cheltenham Supreme Novices' Hurdle runner-up Min was a Grade One winner at this meeting as a novice last year before injury cut short his campaign, but he returned with a bloodless success at Gowran last month.
Last season's Ryanair winner Un De Sceaux also made a victorious start to his campaign, winning the Hilly Way Chase at Cork with the minimum of fuss.
Nicky Richards' Simply Ned finished third to Douvan at the Foxrock venue last year and the Greystoke raider could be back for more, while Top Gamble is another possible British challenger for Kerry Lee.
Henry de Bromhead has two contenders in Alisier D'Irlande and Ordinary World, with Gordon Elliott potentially triple-handed with The Game Changer, Tell Us More and Ball D'Arc. Jessica Harrington's Woodland Opera completes the list of 10 possibles.
On the same card, Elliott's Mengli Khan could bid to extend his winning sequence to four in the Paddy Power Future Champions Novice Hurdle. The exciting novice has won each of his three starts this term, culminating in a Grade One success in the Royal Bond earlier this month.
Joseph O'Brien's Early Doors was beaten five-and-a-half lengths in second on that occasion and he is one three contenders for the yard along with Le Richebourg and Us And Them.
Elliott has another possible string to his bow in Royal Bond third Hardline, while Mullins can choose from Carter McKay, Getabird, Makitoriz, Real Steel, Sharjah and Whiskey Sour.
Noel Meade's Athenean, the Tom Mullins-trained Top Othe Ra and Trainwreck from De Bromhead's yard round out the 14 possibles.
Grade One-winning hurdler Footpad could step up to the top level on just his second start over fences in the Racing Post Novices' Chase at Leopardstown next Tuesday.
The five-year-old - owned by Simon Munir and Isaac Souede - made a successful debut over fences for champion trainer Mullins at Navan six weeks ago. The same yard also has Rathvinden among the eight acceptors.
On his latest start, the nine-year-old was runner-up to Death Duty in the Drinmore Novices' Chase at Fairyhouse.
While Elliott has left Death Duty in this race, the Michael O'Leary-owned gelding is more likely to take up his engagement in a Grade Two novice chase at Limerick the same day.
Grade Three Navan winner Tombstone and Drinmore fourth Dinaria Des Obeaux are Elliott's other possibles. Completing the list are Any Second Now, Avenir D'Une Vie and Jett.