Gordon Elliott on course for trainers' championship at Punchestown Festival

Willie Mullins trails Elliott by almost €400,000 in prize money

Punchestown Festival

Image: ©INPHO

The season finale to the jump season the Punchestown festival begins today in county Kildare, with the first of the action of at 3.40pm.

The first grade one of the day the Champion Novices hurdle is away at twenty past four while the second the Champion Chase is away at five thirty.

The third grade one is the Champion Novice chase at twenty to seven. The festival will decide the trainers' championship.

Willie Mullins has been champion every year since 2009 but currently trails Gordon Elliott by almost €400,000 in prize money.

Racing Journalist Donn Mc Lean says Elliott and Mullins have raised the standards for everyone this season.

"They went to Cheltenham and had six winners each," he said. "Gordon Elliot had a treble on the first day and Willie Mullins had four winners on Thursday.

"That's incredible stuff. They've pushed the standard higher than it has ever been in Ireland. That means like other trainers like Henry de Bromhead are upping their game as well."

Gordon Elliot watches the JCB Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham last month. Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan