Punchestown Festival News: Mullins confident Facile Vega's star can continue to rise

Willie Mullins has a star of a five-year-old. Out of wonder mare Quevega, Facile Vega will look to build on his Champion Bumper win at Cheltenham as he goes at Punchestown on Wednesday, April 27.

Jockey Patrick Mullins is itching to get back into the saddle on Rising star Facile Vega on day two of the Punchestown Festival.

Out of the superlative racemare Quevega, the five-year-old took the Champion Bumper for Willie Mullins in fine style at Cheltenham last month.

Facile Vega stormed up the hill in the Cotswolds to defeat Gordon Elliott's American Mike by three and three quarter lengths, who he faces again on Wednesday.

"All our good horses go to Punchestown, so this has been the plan," said his rider Mullins.

"The Champion Bumper at Punchestown is worth more than the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham so it would be madness not to go for it

"He has come out of the race bucking and squealing and David Porter is very happy with him. Better ground shouldn't inconvenience him and obviously his dam used to go from Cheltenham to Punchestown, so hopefully it won't be any problem for him."

Stablemates Madmansgame and Redemption Day join Facile Vega in a strong raiding party which also takes in Seabank Bistro and Viva Devito.

Elliott's Cheltenham runner-up American Mike looms large though and the Cullentra House handler had a great opening day, saddling four Punchestown winners.

Mullins junior added: "Redemption Day didn't handle the ground in Cheltenham. He's a small, slight, quick horse who just got bogged down. I'd forgive him that run.

"Seabank Bistro might not be as effective on good ground. He's a bigger, heavier type of horse, but it's only a guess as he's never run on good ground.

"We have an armada of good bumper horses. It's a good crop going into next year."

Punchestown sees three Grade 1's on Wednesday, April 27 with Mullins' stable companions The Nice Guy and Minella Cocooner going at it in the Irish Daily Mirror Novice Hurdle.

The pair finished first and second in the Albert Bartlett at Cheltenham.

Elliott sends another Minella in the form of Minella Crooner and Hollow Games, while Henry de Bromhead will be hoping for a better run from Journey With Me than what he got from Bob Olinger, who was pulled up on Tuesday.

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