Dessie Hughes is to aim Lieutenant Colonel at the Tattersalls Ireland Champion Novice Hurdle at Punchestown on 2 May following his victory at Fairyhouse.

The County Kildare trainer is happy with the space between the two meetings for his talented five-year-old, who was a 10-length winner of a Grade Two novice hurdle last weekend.

"It will be more than a three-week gap from Fairyhouse and Lieutenant Colonel didn't have a hard race so it's very possible he'll go to Punchestown," said Hughes.

"It was a good performance on Sunday and he came out of it nice and perky.

"I don't think the ground made a difference, I just think he is an improving horse in the spring."

Willie Mullins has a strong hand among the 28 entries, including Cheltenham Festival winners Faugheen and Don Poli, a runaway handicap winner at the same meeting.

Ireland's champion Flat trainer Aidan O'Brien could saddle five-year-old Marchese Marconi, who has yet to run over hurdles.

Paul Nicholls has put in Lac Fontana, fresh from his success in the Grade One Mersey Novices' Hurdle at Aintree's Grand National meeting.