Galopin Des Champs is set to face six rivals in the rescheduled John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase on Monday (Live on RTÉ News and RTÉ Player), with track officials confident the fixture will beat the weather at the second attempt.

The two-and-a-half-mile Grade One is the centrepiece of a meeting that was originally due to take place last Sunday, but was cancelled due to a frozen track.

Horse Racing Ireland moved quickly to save the card, though - and while the course was still unraceable on Saturday morning, rising temperatures mean Punchestown's racing manager Richie Galway is optimistic racegoers will belatedly get to see the seasonal reappearance of Willie Mullins' Cheltenham Gold Cup favourite.

Galway said: "We're not there yet - we're unraceable this morning as there is still some frost in the ground. But based on the forecast we'd be confident we won't have a problem on Monday.

Fakir d'Oudairies winning at Ascot in February

"Temperatures are forecast to increase fairly dramatically tomorrow (Sunday), with much milder conditions and some rain. Touch wood, we don't envisage any problems and we're looking forward to it.

"It's due to get up to 12C, so it's a huge turnaround pretty quickly. We'll review again on Sunday morning, but based on the forecast we have we'd be very optimistic we won't have any issues.

"We're delighted to get seven back in the Durkan, including Galopin Des Champs and Fakir D'oudairies. It looks a really good race."

Galopin Des Champs is the general 5-2 favourite for the Gold Cup after winning three of his four starts over fences as a novice. His only defeat came at the Cheltenham Festival when crashing out at the final fence with the Turners Novices' Chase at his mercy.

He is joined in the John Durkan field by stablemate Haut En Couleurs, but his biggest threat appears to be Joseph O'Brien's Fakir d'Oudairies. The JP McManus-owned seven-year-old is a multiple Grade One winner and will be having his first start of the campaign.

Gordon Elliott's Fury Road, Jessica Harrington's Lifetime Ambition, the Gavin Cromwell-trained Vanillier and Fastorslow from Martin Brassil's yard complete the line-up.