Leading fancies Acapella Bourgeois and Chef Des Obeaux are among a strong team bidding to give Willie Mullins a record eighth success in the Goffs Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park on Thursday, live on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player.
The pair head the weights for the historic €100,000 handicap chase and feature in a squad of six declared by the champion trainer this morning.
Paul Townend sides with top-weight Acapella Bourgeois with Robbie Power riding Chef Des Obeaux. Total Recall, Class Conti, Livelovelaugh and Pont Aven make up the Mullins team.
Similarly, Gordon Elliott has declared six horses but will have to do without the services of Jack Kennedy who was on board Monbeg Notorious when he gave the Cullentra trainer his first and only success in the race two years ago.
The Kerryman continues to recover from recent shoulder surgery.
Daryl Jacob is a frequent visitor to these shores, and he takes the mount on the Elliott-trained Borice while Davy Russell is on the last gasp Leopardstown Christmas Festival winner Roaring Bull.
Fresh from his beginners' chase success at Punchestown on New Year's Eve, Smoking Gun is unlikely to be short of support as he bids to give Joseph O'Brien a first win in the race and the same can be said of Ex Patriot, the mount of top amateur rider Derek O'Connor, which carries the hopes of local trainer Ellmarie Holden.
A cracking renewal of the Grade 2 John Mulhern Galmoy Hurdle is on the cards with the Gordon Elliott-trained Apple's Jade heading a field of seven runners. Davy Russell replaces the absent Jack Kennedy in the saddle and will be out to maintain his 100% record on the mare having won the Grade 1 Squared Financial Christmas Hurdle on her in 2017.
Willie Mullins isn’t shy about taking on the 11-time Grade 1 winner which bounced back to form with a stunning success in the Grade 1 Frank Ward Memorial Hurdle at the Leopardstown Christmas Festival.
Mullins has declared a trio of runners, like Apple's Jade, all Cheltenham Festival winners. Benie Des Dieux rounded off last season with top levels wins at the Punchestown festival and at Auteuil in May and she has her first run of the current term in the €45,000 event in which she will be joined by her stable companions Penhill and Killultagh Vic.