7 in Royal Bond contention
(Healy Racing Photos)
The Willie Mullins-trained five-year-old won the Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival and the equivalent race at Punchestown in the spring, and scored as he liked on his hurdling debut at Cork earlier this month.
Mullins also has Midnight Oil and Zuzka in the mix for the two-mile Grade One, but the champion trainer is unlikely to have things all his own way.
Jessica Harrington's Jezki is two from two over hurdles, the Dessie Hughes-trained Minsk won easily at Punchestown last time and Ally Cascade from Noel Meade's yard completes a high-class field.
Clonbanan Lad was a smart horse in the bumper sphere and impressed on his first start over hurdles and debut for Henry de Bromhead at Punchestown.
The County Waterford handler told sportinglife.com: "He seems in really good form. He worked well this morning and we're looking forward to Sunday."
St Stephens Day in Leopardstown is one of the iconic racing days of the year and 2014 looks set to deliver on this long established standard. The most appealing bet for a Tote Punter on this day looks set to be the Jackpot which has been guaranteed at an incredibly generous €20,000. I say generous because as we go through the card you will see that the jackpot puzzle looks a relatively easy one to solve with two small field short priced favourites courtesy of the all-conquering Willie Mullins stable. In addition to the guarantee Tote are also offering a €10,000 bonus to any punter who happens to be the only winner of the jackpot on any particular day.