CHELTENHAM Gold Cup hero Minella Indo remains on course for a tilt at the Punchestown equivalent later this month.
Top trainer Henry De Bromhead confirmed he is planning to chase a stellar double with the top-class chaser in the Punchestown Gold Cup on April 28.
The eight-year-old led home stablemate A Plus Tard and dual winner Al Boum Photo to make it an Irish 1-2-3 at Cheltenham last month.
With A Plus Tard a possible runner at Aintree next week, Minella Indo will be a hot favourite to claim another big-race success in the £210,000 feature on day two of Ireland’s end-of-jumps-season carnival.
De Bromhead said: “It (Gold Cup) was a hard race, as you would expect, and A Plus Tard pushed him all the way, but he seems to be good since.
“Like all the horses that ran in Cheltenham, we will give him as much time as he needs and just see how he is before getting going again, but we would hopefully be returning to Punchestown with him.
“He won the Grade 1 three-mile novice hurdle at the Festival two years ago, following up from the Albert Bartlett at Cheltenham, so he does like it around Punchestown.
“We will see how he is and discuss it with the Maloneys (owners), but there is a good chance (he’ll run) at this stage.”
Minella Indo could face Al Boum Photo in a rematch, with Willie Mullins keen to have another crack at his Cheltenham conqueror.
Kemboy, who won the most recent edition of the Punchestown Gold Cup in 2019 under the retiring Ruby Walsh, is another potential runner.
The last horse to complete the Gold Cup-Punchestown double was Sizing John in 2017.
Another Cheltenham champ set to run at the five-day Festival is Flooring Porter, who will tackle the Champion Stayers Hurdle.
Trainer Gavin Cromwell said: “Punchestown is definitely the aim for Flooring Porter. He’s good. He came out of Cheltenham fine and is back in full work.”
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