Andy Dufresne stars in line up for Sky Bet Moscow Flyer Novice Hurdle at Punchestown

Celebration time for Michael O'Leary and Gordon Elliott
Celebration time for Michael O'Leary and Gordon Elliott

Andy Dufresne is the star name among six runners declared for the Sky Bet Moscow Flyer Novice Hurdle at Punchestown.

Leading owner JP McManus went to £330,000 to secure the five-year-old's services after he won his only start in the point-to-point sphere - and Andy Dufresne made a foot-perfect start in the green-and-gold silks when dominating his rivals in a Down Royal bumper in January.

Gordon Elliott's charge was just as impressive when making a successful debut over hurdles at Navan in November, but suffered a shock defeat as runner-up to Latest Exhibition in last month's Navan Novice Hurdle.

Andy Dufresne drops back to two miles for his latest Grade Two assignment on Sunday - and is Elliott's sole contender, with the trainer bidding for back-to-back wins following the success of Felix Desjy 12 months ago.

Joseph O'Brien fires a twin assault, with both Anything Will Do and Meticulous in the mix.

Anything Will Do has won four of his five starts to date, including two victories over the course and distance.

Henry de Bromhead's once-raced Navan victor Captain Guinness, Karl Thornton's Shanroe and The Little Yank are the other hopefuls.

Willie Mullins, who has saddled no fewer than seven previous winners of the Moscow Flyer, is not represented this year.

Grade Three honours are up for grabs in the Killiney Novice Chase, which has also attracted six runners.

Mullins relies on Carefully Selected, who made a successful start to his career over fences at Fairyhouse in late November.

His chief rival appears to be the Martin Brassil-trained Cheltenham Festival winner City Island, although the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle hero has something to prove after being pulled up on his chasing bow at Leopardstown.

Elliott's Dallas Des Pictons, Michael Bowe's Halsafari, Matthew Smith's Lord Schnitzel and O'Brien's Speak Easy complete the sextet.

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