Galopin Des Champs heads a possible field of 13 runners in next Wednesday's Ladbrokes Punchestown Gold Cup.

The dual Cheltenham Gold Cup winner is bidding to emulate Sizing John by completing the Gold Cup treble but the Willie Mullins-trained son of Timos will need to reproduce his best form to finish one place better than 12 months ago.

His conqueror in that renewal, Fastorslow, looks likely to do battle once more, having also beaten Galopin Des Champs in the John Durkan Memorial at Punchestown earlier this season.

The positions were reversed in the Irish Gold Cup in February, while J.J. Slevin parted company with Fastorslow in Cheltenham too early to make a judgement on if the result might have been any different had they remained intact.

Trainer Martin Brassil and owners Seán and Bernadine Mulryan will be hoping that not having had a hard race there might pay dividends next week.

Corach Rambler could run

Corach Rambler finished third in the Cheltenham blue riband but his bid to go back-to-back in the Aintree Grand National ended at the first fence subsequently.

Lucinda Russell is considering making the lengthy trip from Arlary House in Kinross with her pride and joy, who she reports to be in fine fettle.

“He seems in good form,” said Russell today. “We’ve still got a few days before we decide whether he definitely goes over or not but we have kept him in.

“He’s schooled since and jumped really well. He just seems really fresh and happy so there is a chance we’ll bring him over.”

“We absolutely love Punchestown and we’re looking forward to having runners on Saturday as well hopefully. But we’ll decide on the Ladbrokes Punchestown Gold Cup next week.”

Six-time Grade 1 winner Shishkin is another possible cross-channel challenger and Nicky Henderson has enjoyed plenty of success at Punchestown over the years.

Shark Hanlon is committed to running King George VI Chase hero Hewick, while Capodanno, Appreciate It and Monkfish bring the Mullins contingent to four.

Journey With Me was a facile winner at Grade 2 level at Easter, where Appreciate It was nine lengths in arrears as head of the chasing pack, and Henry de Bromhead is looking forward to evaluating the eight-year-old’s credentials at the trip and in this class.

“He was great in Fairyhouse,” said de Bromhead today. “We were delighted with him and he seems to have come out of that well. He’s a definite Grade 2 horse and now we’ll see can he step up to Grade 1.

“We’ve never really got an answer about three miles so we thought Wednesday is as good as any day to give it a go.”

Gentlemansgame (Mouse Morris) and Gordon Elliott duo Conflated and Ash Tree Meadow complete the entries.

Champion Chase

Captain Guinness was a very popular winner of the Champion Chase at Cheltenham, having been such a consistent performer over the years, and he will bid to emulate predecessor Energumene by completing the double in the William Hill Champion Chase on Tuesday.

“He’s been in great form and we’re aiming for Tuesday with him,” de Bromhead confirmed. “We’re delighted with him. We always felt he deserved to win a Grade 1 and the fact it was the Champion Chase was an added bonus.

“For him to come back after what happened to him at Christmas was really good. He is generally so consistent and we are looking forward to him at Punchestown.

“Maskada will run too. She is being covered so I’d say it’s her last run. So we’ll give it a go and see if she can get some Grade 1 black type. She deserves the chance after giving us some big days.”

Banbridge is an intriguing possibility, having raced predominantly over the intermediate trip for Joseph O’Brien.

Dinoblue and Dysart Dynamo are among a Willie Mullins sextet while Fil Dor is one of a Gordon Elliott pair among the dozen remaining.

Stayers' Hurdle

There are 15 entries for the Ladbrokes Champion Stayers' Hurdle, with the Gordon Elliott-trained Teahupoo another champion coming home to parade his talents after a successful cross-channel raid.

The convincing Cheltenham victor is the one they all have to beat. Joseph O’Brien’s Home By The Lee was third in Gloucester while fourth-placed Buddy One was nabbed late on at Aintree afterwards and has Galway trainer Paul Gilligan dreaming of Grade 1 glory.

Former champion, Sire Du Berlais is one of three possible representatives for Gordon Elliott. Monkfish, Asterion Forlonge and Sir Gerhard could fly the flag for Willie Mullins.

Telmesomethinggirl and Lantry Lady are among the trio of Henry de Bromhead acceptors, along with Summerville Boy. The two mares were second and fourth in the Cheltenham Mares’ Hurdle, with stablemate Hispanic Moon in third.

“We’ve left the three of them in to give ourselves options and we will see nearer the time,” stated de Bromhead. “I would think Telmesomethinggirl will definitely run somewhere. She will run in this or the Coolmore Irish EBF Mares’ Champion Hurdle on Saturday. Lantry Lady is in that too along with Hispanic Moon, who split them in Cheltenham.”

Novice races

In Tuesday’s other Grade 1 contests, Ballyburn and Slade Steel head the list of 17 in contention for the KPMG Champion Novice Hurdle, having won the two premier novice events at Cheltenham. Both also have the option of the Alanna Homes Champion Novice Hurdle over two and a half miles on Friday.

Ballyburn’s Closutton stablemate, Mystical Power added value to the form of Slade Steel’s Supreme Novices’ victory over him by scoring at Aintree. Firefox, who finished third in the Supreme, chased Mystical Power home in Liverpool.

“Slade Steel is in really good form since Cheltenham,” declared de Bromhead. “We’re very happy with him. Obviously, we’d prefer not to be taking on Ballyburn but we’ll see how it all unfolds. He is in the Alanna Homes Champion Novice Hurdle as well.

“He was really good at Cheltenham over the two miles but he stayed very well in Navan (when winning over two and a half miles) also. The Cheltenham form stood up at Aintree and you had Ayr as well, where Favour And Fortune (who finished sixth in the Supreme) won the Scottish Champion Hurdle. We’re looking forward to Punchestown with him.”

There are 15 acceptors for the Dooley Insurance Champion Novice Chase. Monty’s Star represents the Cheltenham form, having chased home Fact To File in the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase.

“He seems in good form,” said de Bromhead. “We’re happy with him. It is a tough race in Cheltenham over three miles and you always have the fear of that after but we’ll give it a go and see. But he seems very well.”

Spillane’s Tower is already a Grade 1 winner, after the Jimmy Mangan-trained six-year-old took the WillowWarm Gold Cup at Fairyhouse and he certainly looked like a step up to three miles would be no problem on that occasion.

Intense Raffles would be coming down in distance but stepping up in class after he provided Tom Gibney with a second Irish Grand National triumph on Easter Monday.

Wednesday supporting races

On Wednesday, Gordon Elliott’s Stellar Story is attempting the staying novice hurdle double as one of 18 that could line up in the Channor Real Estate Group Novice Hurdle. Another Cheltenham winner, Better Days Ahead is one of four Elliott horses in contention.

Dual Grade 1 victor, Dancing City heads the Willie Mullins cavalry, while Emmet Mullins could bid to better his feat of winning last year’s Dooley Insurance Champion Novice Chase with Feronily, a horse running in only its second race over fences, by saddling Backmersackme, a point-to-point winner whose only appearance under Rules so far has been while scoring in a bumper at Cork on April 1st.

Look To The West could represent Knockeen Stables, the Navan maiden hurdle winner having run well behind Jade De Grugy twice at Fairyhouse subsequently, most recently when fifth in the Grade 1 Honeysuckle Mares’ Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse at the end of March.

“She ran well the other day and we’re hoping better ground will help her,” said de Bromhead. “We still haven’t seen her on that yet and I think she will be better on nicer ground. She still ran well and it looked like all she did was stay so we said we might have a go at this.”

Jasmin De Vaux is another double chaser, looking to follow in the hooves of Facile Vega and A Dream To Share by adding the Race & Stay at Punchestown Champion INH Flat Race to the Champion Bumper.

The Cheltenham form will be tested as the horse that gave Willie Mullins his century of winners at the Prestbury Park festival could take on Gordon Elliott pair, Romeo Coolio and The Yellow Clay, who finished second and sixth, as well as stablemate Sounds Victorious, who ran a cracker to be fourth.

Barry Connell’s William Munny swerved Cheltenham after recording a hugely impressive victory at Naas and would be a fascinating contender.

And on Thursday, the Barberstown Castle Novice Chase is the likely target for Arkle Chase winner Gaelic Warrior. Subsequent Aintree winner Il Etait Temps and Blood Destiny are other interesting possibilities for Willie Mullins, though the former illustrated his suitability to the intermediate trip at Grade 1 level in Aintree, while Philip Rothwell has given his progressive young chaser Captains Nephew the option of mixing it at elite level.