Henry De Bromhead’s dual Grade One winner Petit Mouchoir can make a winning chasing debut as he takes on nine rivals at Punchestown today.
The six-year-old has won three times over hurdles, including top level success in Leopardstown’s Ryanair and Irish Champion Hurdle last season.
He was last seen finishing third in the Champion Hurdle, but has the frame and potential to be an excellent chaser.
"He seems good and we've been happy with him at home. He's schooled well and Punchestown is a nice place to start him off," said Bromhead.
His main target looks to be the Arkle on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival. The bookmakers have currently priced him as a 12-1 second favourite, with impressive Triumph hero Defi Du Seuil heading the field.
This afternoon he is well fancied at 4-9 for debut glory, with his nearest market rival Brelade seeking improvement from his Gowran Park second.
Elswhere on the card Gordon Elliott’s exciting Cracking Smart makes his hurdles debut in the Maiden Hurdle (3:10) event.
The five-year-old was last seen winning a bumper contest at Fairyhouse by 13 lengths, prior to that he finished a close second behind a smart stable rival.
He’s always been the type to improve over hurdles, and even more so over fences, and expectations are high of a strong run from the improving Gigginstown prospect.