Punchestown fields: Apple's Jade absent from Champion Stayers Hurdle
Superstar mares Apple's Jade, Benie Des Dieux and Laurina were all absent from the final declarations for the Ladbrokes Champion Stayers Hurdle (5.30) at Punchestown on Thursday, with the 3m Grade 1 attracting ten runners.
Both Gordon Elliott and Willie Mullins are represented with three runners apiece, despite the absence of their talented mares, with the trio holding entries in the Punchestown Champion Hurdle on Friday and the Mares Champion Hurdle on Saturday.
In Thursday's feature, Elliott relies on Cracking Smart, Dortmund Park and Prince Of Scars, while champion trainer Mullins runs Bapaume, Killultagh Vic and Bacardys.
Jessica Harrington saddles Not Many Left, with a strong British contingent in opposition. Unowhatimeanharry bids to win the race he landed two years ago for Harry Fry and JP McManus, with Aux Ptits Soins (Dan Skelton) and Vision Des Flos (Colin Tizzard) also making the journey.
The other Grade 1 on the card, the Ryanair Novice Chase (6.40), features a fascinating clash between Cheltenham Festival winners Duc Des Genievres and Defi Du Seuil.
Mullins does not rely solely on the Racing Post Arkle winner as he also runs recent Fairyhouse victor Voix Du Reve and the unexposed Chacun Pour Soi.
Aintree winner Ornua and runner-up Us And Them are also among the participants, with the Elliott-trained Duca De Thaix completing the field.
Did you know you can bet via the Racing Post mobile app/website? Simply sign in with your favourite bookmaker via the Accounts button and then bet direct from our racecards