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    Teahupoo will be attending both the Cheltenham and Punchestown Festivals
Teahupoo will be attending both the Cheltenham and Punchestown Festivals
Teahupoo will be attending both the Cheltenham and Punchestown Festivals. Source: attheraces.com

Teahupoo will be attending both the Cheltenham and Punchestown Festivals

When Teahupoo runs in the Ladbrokes Champion Stayers Hurdle, he will become the first horse of the century to complete the Cheltenham-Punchestown Festival staying double.

The seven-year-old gave Gordon Elliott back-to-back wins in the staying hurdling feature race at the Cheltenham Festival in March. He easily defeated his competitors to validate his position as the clear favourite and to solidify his position as the top performer in the division.

In the main event of Thursday's action in Kildare, he will try to finish the season undefeated after finishing fourth a year ago.

“Teahupoo is in great order and this would look like the logical step for him,” said Elliott. “We didn’t go to Liverpool with the intention of going here and it’s all systems go now for Punchestown. Everything has gone smoothly since Cheltenham and we’re pleased with him.”

Teahupoo did not participate in the Liverpool Hurdle at Aintree last month, and his perennial stablemate Sire Du Berlais was scheduled to start there but was later ruled out. Both will arrive at Punchestown well-rested following a 49-day leave.

Paul Gilligan's Buddy One, who finished fourth at Prestbury Park in Liverpool and is now given one final chance to earn a Grade One over hurdles, was one of the horses in action at both Cheltenham and Merseyside.

Gilligan said: “The main one we have to beat is Gordon’s horse Teahupoo, but we’ve been happy with him since Aintree and all has gone well. He has it all to do to beat him, but hopefully he might. He seems to take his racing very well, but this will be it and wrap him up for the season. He will go on holiday after this. He came out of Aintree so well within himself, so we said ‘let’s go to Punchestown’. He did a nice piece of work last week and everything indicated we should run, so we will see how it goes. If we pulled it off it would be great and I guess if he doesn’t take to fences next year then he can always come back over hurdles to run in these races.”

This time, Willie Mullins, who has won the race ten times overall and the past three as well, will depend on the mysterious Asterion Forlonge and the perennially well-liked Monkfish.

The former has been successful lately when mixing and matching hurdles. He most recently won a Cork Grade Three over the larger obstacles. Monkfish has also been seen recently in both disciplines, he was sixth at Aintree most recently.

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