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Published: 12:03 | 14/4/16

Don Cossack on course for Punchestown

Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Don Cossack is on course to take his place in the Bibby Financial Services Ireland Punchestown Gold Cup later this month.

Don Cossack landed the blue riband at Prestbury Park last month and he heads an exciting list of entries for the Irish equivalent on April 27, with Cue Card and Vautour among his possible rivals.

Eddie O'Leary, racing manager Gigginstown House Stud, is expecting a tough race but would not swap Don Cossack.

"We don't hide away and this is the big decider. It will be a hell of race. All three are probably best on good ground so I hope the going is perfect for them so that they can all shine," O'Leary said.

"You had to be really impressed with Cue Card at Aintree, he's a fantastic horse. Perhaps a flat track and three miles is his cup of tea whereas this race is over three miles and a furlong. We wouldn't swap our fellow and they wouldn't swap their's. With Vautour in there as well it's just a fabulous race. It's great for racing and it's great for Puchestown."

It has been a memorable few weeks for Gigginstown with Don Cossack securing the Gold Cup, Rogue Angel landing the BoyleSports Irish Grand National and Rule The World winning the Crabbie's Grand National at Aintree.

The owners are planning to send a big string to Punchestown with Road To Riches and Don Poli in the mix for the Gold Cup, while Apple's Jade will also run at the Irish National Hunt Festival.

"Road To Riches definitely runs. That's more his trip and it's all about the ground with him. He'll be there all being well. I don't know with Don Poli. There's nowhere else for him to go and he could run," O'Leary explained.

"If you believe what you saw at Aintree then Apple's Jade is very good but it was hard to believe," said O'Leary. "She'll go for the four-year-old race. She never ran on the Flat and that was only her fourth ever run at Aintree. She's a little baby coming through and if she's OK she'll run at Punchestown."

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