The Grade 1 placed Ronald Pump features among the early hunter certificates as the start of the new point-to-point season gets closer.
The now ten-year-old finished second in no fewer than four Grade 1 races, including in the 2020 Stayers Hurdle at the Cheltenham festival, whilst he also had the misfortune of chasing home the superstar hurdler and pointing graduate Honeysuckle in back to back editions of the Hatton’s Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse in in 2020 and 2021.
Formerly trained by Matthew Smith, the son of Schiaparelli joined the Westmeath stable of Ciaran Murphy last season and it is Murphy’s local fixture at Castletown-Geoghegan which kickstarts the new season on Sunday, October 1st.
Gordon Elliott started last season strongly winning seven open races during the autumn term 12 months ago, and despite his three-time open winner The Storyteller being retired after pulling-up in the Cheltenham festival hunter chase, he has already certed a number of new additions to the open division.
Both The Bosses Oscar and Fakir D’Alene will sport the colours of Noel and Valerie Moran. The Bosses Oscar had finished second in the 2021 Pertemps Final and returns to the pointing fields having failed to fences on the track, whilst his stablemate Fakir D’Alene will be set to return from a lengthy lay-off.
The now eight-year-old has not been seen since he was brought down at the first in the 2022 Irish Grand National.
The trio of new additions to the open ranks looks set to be joined by Plan Of Attack who has been competing in Cross Country races of late, finishing third to Delta Work at the 2022 Cheltenham festival whilst he was also placed in the 2019 Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown.
Formerly trained by Henry de Bromhead, he is now with Ben Halsall, whose stable enjoyed their first success with stablemate Visioman during the 21/22 campaign.
Ellmarie Holden had taken out a hunter certificate for her 142-rated chaser Ex Patriot last season, and whilst he may not have featured in competitive action, he has already received a hunter cert for the new season having not been seen in action since the 2022 Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park.
The early list of hunter certificates also features a number of open regulars including Lough Derg Spirit who finished third at both the Aintree and Punchestown festivals in the spring, Some Are Lucky, Down The Highway and the 15-year-old Fr Humphrey.