Kennedy to retain partnership with Minella Indo at Punchestown

De Bromhead’s charge favourite to complete Gold Cup double next week

Jack Kennedy  celebrates  Minella Indo’s   Cheltenham Gold Cup  success at Cheltenham.  Photograph:  Michael Steele/PA

Jack Kennedy celebrates Minella Indo’s Cheltenham Gold Cup success at Cheltenham. Photograph: Michael Steele/PA

 

Trainer Henry De Bromhead has confirmed that Jack Kennedy will maintain the partnership with the Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Minella Indo at Punchestown next week.

Kennedy stepped in for the ultimate ‘spare’ last month after Rachael Blackmore opted to ride A Plus Tard instead in steeplechasing’s ‘Blue Riband’ event.

In a rare reverse during a record-breaking season, Blackmore had to settle for the runner-up spot, over a length behind a horse she had ridden in his 10 previous races.

Now, ahead of next Wednesday’s Ladbrokes Punchestown Gold Cup, the Minella Indo camp have decided to keep the new partnership intact.

Minella Indo’s owner Barry Maloney said on Tuesday that Kennedy stood in “brilliantly” at Cheltenham and he is glad he can ride again next week.

De Bromhead said: “Jack Kennedy will ride Indo if he is available. He got a great tune out of him and delighted for him.”

Minella Indo is a general 5-4 favourite to complete the Gold Cup double next week.

The last horse to do that double was Sizing John in 2017. Both Kicking King (2005) and War Of Attrition (2006) also managed the feat.

After having had to cancel last year’s festival due to the pandemic, Punchestown officials had encouraging news on Tuesday when revealing that next week’s action is fully sponsored despite taking place behind closed doors.

Many of De Bromhead’s team of stars that dominated so much of Cheltenham are on course to line up at Punchestown including Honeysuckle who will try to extend her unbeaten record to 12 in Friday week’s Champion Hurdle.

The Co Waterford trainer also confirmed Envoi Allen is on course to tackle Monkfish in an eagerly-awaited Dooley Novice Chase clash when the festival opens next Tuesday.

Two other impressive Cheltenham winners, Bob Olinger and Quilixios, will also take their at Punchestown.

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