GRADE 1 winner Balko Des Flos will spearhead a strong Gigginstown House Stud representation at Punchestown in the Grade 3 Irish Daily Star Chase on Wednesday.
Last year’s Ryanair Chase winner Balko Des Flos is one of four runners for champion owner Michael O’Leary in the feature event, in which the famous Gigginstown colours will also be carried by the Gordon Elliott-trained pair of Alpha Des Obeaux and Dounikos, while Noel Meade has declared the smart Tout Est Permis for the three mile one furlong contest.
Tout Est Permis is a six-year-old that progressed through the ranks last season to top the weights in the Irish Grand National and his trainer is looking to win the race for a third time following the success of Road To Respect in 2017 and Casey Jones back in 2009.
“Tout Est Permis is in good form and is just ready to start," Meade said on Tuesday morning. “We are meeting Balko Des Flos particularly wrong at the weights but it is a Grade 3 conditions race and an ideal starting point for him. The ground is fine but I don’t think he is a horse that would mind it a bit softer either.”
Gigginstown are bidding for an incredible ninth victory in the Irish Daily Star Chase since 2008 but will have to fend off the Jessica Harrington-trained Jett and Willie Mullins’ representative Some Neck in the process.
The Grade 3 Ladbrokes Acca Boosty Buck House Novice Chase has also attracted a strong Gigginstown team with their trio of Daly Tiger, Jan Maat and Swordsman taking on the Willie Mullins-trained Cool Colonnade.
Gordon Elliott’s Swordsman was a winner at Roscommon just over a fortnight ago, while Noel Meade’s Daly Tiger opened his account over fences at Tipperary just over a week ago.
“Daly Tiger has come out of Tipperary well and with just three other runners this looked a nice place to go next for him. We’ll see where we go from here but he is a nice horse and has schooled well at home,” Meade said.
A seven race card at Punchestown on Wednesday begins at 2.05pm and also features the Ladbrokes Ingoldsby Handicap Chase for amateur riders in which champion amateur Patrick Mullins will ride Gunfire Reef for his aunt Mags Mullins and Jamie Codd is booked to partner Court Tycoon for local trainer Peter Fahey.
Racing returns to the Kildare venue for the first time this season with a seven race card today beginning at 1.55pm.