sport

Balder checks in

Balder Succes will lead the British assault on the Ryanair Novice Chase at Punchestown on Thursday.

The Alan King-trained six-year-old will bid to continue his excellent start to 2014 which has seen him win all his three starts so far, culminating in the Grade One Doom Bar Maghull Novices' Chase at Aintree three weeks ago.

The other British raider among an eight-runner field is the Tom George-trained God's Own, who has not raced since finishing second to Balder Succes in the Pendil Novices' Chase at Kempton in February.

Ireland's champion trainer Willie Mullins saddles two runners in Champagne Fever, who was just touched off in the Arkle Trophy at Cheltenham, and Felix Yonger.

Trifolium, who defeated Felix Yonger in Leopardstown's version of the Arkle but has since been beaten by Champagne Fever and Balder Succes, is one of two challengers from the Charles Byrnes stable.

The other is Arnaud, who was well beaten in the Red Rum Handicap Chase at Aintree on his latest start.

Completing the line-up are the Henry de Bromhead-trained Moscow Mannon and Tony Martin's Ted Veale, fourth and sixth respectively behind Balder Succes at Aintree.