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Stage Affair is set to return to action during next months four-day Punchestown NH Festival which begins on Tuesday May 2nd.

Speaking at his palatial Rosewell House on Monday morning, the Curragh handler announced he will run his six-year-old - fifth behind Istabraq in last months Smurfit Champion Hurdle - in the Shell Champion Hurdle on Friday May 5th, the concluding day feature.

'I was disappointed with him at Chelltenham as I thought with his flat speed running down to the last he would have finished second,' said Weld, before he quickly added, 'but on his return to the unsaddling enclosure he had a cut on his near-stifle and that probably accounted for his run.'

'He was stiff and sore for two weeks afterwards but he's well in himself now and it's Punchestown next. After that race he might go back on the flat - we'll see,' concluded Weld.

Also heading for the county Kildare Festival is Moving On Up, a disappointing eleventh behind Master Tern in the County Hurdle at the Cotwolds last month, and Creux Noir which scored recently over timber at Wexford and also notched up a success on the level in a 1m1f handicap at Fairyhouse earlier this month.