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Published: 17:44 | 11/4/16

Punchestown to host Aintree stars

Don Cossack, Cue Card and Vautour to race in Kildare

Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Don Cossack, Cue Card and Vautour will all feature in the Punchestown Gold Cup on 27 April.

Nine of the 11 Grade 1 winners from Aintree's Grand National meeting, and nine of the 13 Grade 1 winners from Cheltenham will race over jumps at the racecourse near Naas.

Cue Card and Don Cossack are among 20 entries that also include the Cheltenham second, third and fourth - Djakadam, Don Poli and Carlingford Lough.

"The plan always was to go on to Punchestown and I don’t see any reason to change that," trainer Colin Tizzard said after Cue Card's Betfred Bowl win at Aintree.

"Hopefully [Cue Card and Don Cossack] jump a clear round. Don Cossack’s fallen once, we’ve fallen once and hopefully they both jump clear and we’ll see who finishes in front."

Trainer Gordon Elliott watched Don Cossack ride over a mile and a half at Punchestown on Monday, and confirmed that the nine-year-old will race in Punchestown at the end of the month.

He said: “We haven’t done anything serious with him since then and today was the first time that he’s really stretched his legs since Cheltenham.

“Cue Card is a horse I’ve got massive respect for. It’s going to be a very good race at Punchestown. He [Don Cossack] will have one more good bit of work and then it’s all systems go.”

Ryanair Chase winner Vautour's trainer Willie Mullins said on Monday: "There’s a very good chance Vautour will run in the Gold Cup. He’s as fit as a flea, and as long as he’s sparkling at home he’ll take his chance."

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