Tranquil Sea on course for Durkan double bid

LAST year’s winner Tranquil Sea has been given the green light by Edward O’Grady to bid for a John Durkan Memorial Chase double at Punchestown on Sunday after his comeback win in the Clonmel Oil Chase.

“Tranquil Sea is in super form. He is a course and distance winner at Punchestown and we are very much looking forward to Sunday’s race. Barry Geraghty will take the ride,” said O’Grady.

Paul Nolan intends to run Joncol, winner of the race two years ago.

“We were very happy with his run at Thurles and he came out of the race fine. Preparations have gone well since and we hope he runs a decent race on Sunday,” said Nolan.

Willie Mullins last won the race 10 years ago with the brilliant Florida Pearl and could give Kempes and Cooldine the chance to shine.

Mullins said: “Kempes has winning form at Punchestown and Cooldine ran well last time out so we are looking forward to them both running in the John Durkan Memorial on Sunday.”

Stablemate Golden Silver is also one of eight confirmations for the race but is likely to run instead in the Hilly Way Chase at Cork the same day.

Paddy Power make the Robbie Hennessy-trained Rubi Light 5-2 favourite after his unlucky fall on his seasonal reappearance at Gowran, when he had Sizing Europe well beat.

He has missed the Champion Chase and the Betfair Chase with a minor setback, but is bang on target for the weekend.

“He is in great form. He is schooling well and his last fence fall at Gowran doesn’t seem to have affected him in any way,” said Hennessy..

“We missed the Chase at Down Royal as we just weren’t 100% happy but he is ready for Sunday.”

Colm Murphy has decided against running Quito De La Roque .

The seven-year-old has won his last two starts at Grade One level, at Punchestown in May and on his seasonal return at Down Royal, when he came from a long way back to outstay subsequent Tingle Creek winner Sizing Europe in the Champion Chase.

Murphy will instead save the Gigginstown House Stud-owned star for the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas, when a clash with Denman is on the cards.

Gigginstown are still likely to be represented by Roi Du Mee.

“The more rain the better for him as he wants genuinely soft ground,” said trainer Gordon Elliott.

Trafford Lad is also on course and has had this race as his plan for some time.

Paddy Power bet: 5-2 Rubi Light, 11-4 Joncol, 100-30 Tranquil Sea, 9-2 Kempes, 7 Cooldine, 12 Roi Du Mee, 33 Trafford Lad.

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