CARLOW trainer/handler William Murphy has a live chance in the €100,000 QuinnBet Grand National Trial Handicap Chase (2.35), the feature contest at Punchestown tomorrow, with the hat-trick seeking Clonmeen.

The lightly-raced nine-year-old has progressed from a mark of 103 earlier this season to compete here off 123, following wins at Down Royal and at Punchestown.

“He’s in good form,” Murphy told The Irish Field. “I rode him out this morning (Friday) and he’s in great nick, fresh and well since his last run.

“The trip is a bit of an unknown but it’s probably a bit of an unknown for them all. He has a lovely weight and should go okay on the ground.

“He’s had a few issues through his career but if you go through his form, he has lots of good runs in and around good horses, and we’ve just got a clear run with him this season. I’m sure it’ll be a good race, and Willie’s horse looks the one to beat, with Paul Townend going down to 10st.”

The Willie Mullins horse Murphy referred to is We’llhavewan and his point on Townend’s weight is a pertinent one - the champion jockey hasn’t gone below 10st 5lb in the last 12 months. Following on from his impressive listed handicap hurdle win at Navan in December, We’llhavewan can run off a 18lb lower mark back over fences (rated 115 over hurdles but 3lb out of the handicap in this contest).

The other notable runner is Champagne Platinum who has finished second and fourth in the previous two renewals of this race, and can race off a lower mark than both of those efforts now.

His trainer Enda Bolger told The Irish Field: “He loves that soft ground and a bit of a trip. It was a nice surprise and a good prep for him to have won at Gowran (two-mile handicap hurdle) so hopefully he can go well here.”