O'Brien to saddle bumper runners at Punchestown

Updated: Tuesday, 19 Feb 2013 13:01

Aidan O'Brien saddles his first National Hunt runners in well over eight years as Egyptian Warrior and Shield make their respective racecourse debuts at Punchestown on Wednesday.

The master of Ballydoyle is no stranger to the jumping game, having trained the incredible Istabraq to win countless Grade One prizes for owner JP McManus, including three successive victories in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham.

However, the stable's last runner under National Hunt rules was The Alamo, ridden by Coolmore supremo John Magnier's son MV, in a bumper at Tipperary in October 2004.

Easily the most fascinating of O'Brien's two runners in the AES Family Saturday At The Festival INH Flat Race is Egyptian Warrior, who will be ridden by his daughter, Sarah.

The four-year-old son of Galileo is a full-brother to last season's Racing Post Trophy scorer and this year's Epsom Derby favourite Kingsbarns.

Joseph O'Brien, last season's Irish champion Flat jockey, revealed Egyptian Warrior has been far more backward than his sibling but is looking forward to seeing how he fares on the track.

He said: "He's a fine big horse who has just taken a bit of time to come to himself.

"I would imagine he'll be very green as he's not been away from home before and it will be interesting to see how he gets on.

"It's a good starting point for him and if he runs a nice race we'll be delighted."

The stable's second runner Shield, a four-year-old son of Dylan Thomas, will be ridden by Kate Harrington, the daughter of one of trainer Jessica Harrington.