Colreevy set to take on superstars Monkfish and Envoi Allen in Grade 1 farewell
Further intrigue has been added to an already sublime Punchestown clash between Monkfish and Envoi Allen as Cheltenham heroine Colreevy has been confirmed for the Grade 1 Dooley Insurance Group Champion Novice Chase – a race that looks set to be her final start.
Willie Mullins will attempt to plunder a third top-level win with Colreevy before her retirement, the eight-year-old mare having been covered by Walk In The Park since last month's Mrs Paddy Power Mares' Chase success.
"The Flynns [who own and bred Colreevy] are out-and-out breeders and hopefully they might ask me to train one out of her in a few years' time," the trainer said.
"Fingers crossed she'll come home safe and sound. She's a fantastic-looking mare and hopefully she can breed one as good as herself."
The Mullins attack is set to be led by Brown Advisory Novices' Chase winner Monkfish, who is priced up at 11-10 against 5-4 shot Envoi Allen.
"He didn't jump or gallop with the same flair that he'd shown previously [at Cheltenham], but he'll go for this race," he said.
"We'll also run Franco De Port over three miles for the first time, having won a Grade 1 at Christmas over two miles and a furlong. That will tell us where we are going next year. Asterion Forlonge is also entered."
Energumene's absence was sorely felt from last month's Arkle, with Shishkin coming home a comfortable winner, and Mullins is anticipating the return of the hugely talented seven-year-old in Thursday's Ryanair Novice Chase, in which he could be joined by recent Grade 1 winner Janidil.
"I was trying to get Energumene ready for Fairyhouse and then I felt it wasn't fair on the horse to go there, so we waited for Punchestown and he's been fine since," he said. "I'm looking forward to getting him out."
He added: "I've got to make a decision with Janidil, but we might go back over two miles with him after his win at Fairyhouse over two and a half."
The champion trainer believes Al Boum Photo may not have been at his very best when denied a historic third Cheltenham Gold Cup, but he has been encouraged by the star chaser's preparation for Wednesday's rematch with Minella Indo in the Ladbrokes Punchestown Gold Cup.
The Joe and Marie Donnelly-owned nine-year-old, who never stopped battling all the way up the hill when beaten five and a half lengths in third last month, could be joined by stablemates Melon, Kemboy and Easy Game.
Mullins said: "Lots of people could say that Al Boum Photo's run might have been good enough to win the last two Gold Cups and he just met two good horses on the day.
"I'm not saying he'd have won, but I thought he could have run better, maybe he didn't fire as well as he has. Certainly the last five jumps weren't as strong as they were last year. He has worked well in the meantime and I'm happy with where he is at the moment."
Appreciate It and Blue Lord appear likely to be joined by one other runner from the stable in Tuesday's eCOMM Merchant Solutions Champion Novice Hurdle, while Kilcruit and Sir Gerhard are in line for Wednesday's ITM Supporting Irish Store Sales Champion Bumper.
If you want more on Punchestown:
For all our exclusive free bet offers and must-have daily promotions click the free bets button or go to racingpost.com/freebets