Mullins holds strong hand with Djakadam and Douvan

John Durkan Memorial Chase this Sunday in Punchestown

Mullins hold strong hand with Djakadam and Douvan

Douvan with Ruby Walsh on board

Trainer, Willie Mullins, has four of the 13 declared runners for Sunday’s Grade 1 John Durkan Memorial Chase at Punchestown.

Last year’s winner, Djakadam and superstar Douvan head the entries for Sunday’s Grade 1 at the home of National Hunt Racing.                                                       

Placed behind Coneygree and Don Cossack in the last two Cheltenham Gold Cups, Djakadam, goes in search of a repeat of last year’s 12-length success, while Douvan, unbeaten in 10 starts for Mullins, also stands his ground in the €85,000 contest.

Mullins also has left Black Hercules, and recent Clonmel Oil Chase winner Alelchi Inois in the 2m4f race.

Gigginstown also look likely to be well represented with the Sub Lieutenant stepping back up to Grade 1 company after impressing in a Grade 2 at Down Royal last month, while Outlander will hope to put his recent string of seconds and then his fall at Clonmel behind him for trainer Gordon Elliott. Michael O’Leary’s team have also left Clarcam, Mozoltov and Roi Des Francs in the field.

Kerry Lee could bid to become the first British-based trainer to win the race since Paul Nicholls sent over Noland in 2008 as Lee has left Ryanair Gold Cup winner, Kylemore Lough in at the five-day forfeit stage. 

Racing gets under way this Sunday at 12.25 with admission at €15/€10