For Colm Murphy’s Impervious, Cheltenham is next step.

A leading contender for the Mares’ Chase could bring back memories of Brave Inca for the well-known trainer.

Impervious, Colm Murphy’s star mare, will immediately proceed to the Cheltenham Festival, where she will compete in the Mrs. Paddy Power Mares’ Chase.

With her victory over an above-average cast at Punchestown on Sunday, the seven-year-old owned by JP McManus made it three wins from three over larger obstacles, adding that Grade Three prize to her December Grade Two triumph at Cork.

Her name was not included in the entries for any of the Graded novice chases when they were revealed earlier this week. Her connections decided to keep her among her own sex and target the mares-only chase on the final day, for which she is disputing favoritism with Willie Mullins’ Allegorie De Vassy. She was single-figure odds for the Turners Novices’ Chase at the Festival.

“It will be the mares’ chase all the way and we’ll go straight there,” said Murphy. “She seems well and goes well fresh. With her three runs I’m happy enough she has plenty of experience going there.

“We’re absolutely delighted with her, she seems to be progressing and has taken to fences really well – I was delighted by her win on Sunday.

“There’s no doubt she’s probably good enough to run in it (Turners), but the mares’ looks the obvious one. She’s one to look forward to.”

Brave Inca, ridden by Murphy, won the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham and placed in the Tuesday feature on two other occasions.

Even though he returns to Prestbury Park with a real chance of adding to his Festival tally, the Wexford-based handler believes luck will have to be on his side to register his first victory at racing’s showpiece meeting since Empire Of Dirt scored in 2016. He also tasted big-race success when Big Zeb won the Champion Chase in 2011.

“In fairness we’ve had a few there since,” he continued. “We had Relegate there and it didn’t work out for her when going for the handicap hurdle (Pertemps) with a massive chance and it will be the same for this lady.

“If we can get her there in tip-top shape, she’ll be going there with a massive chance and you’ve just got to hope things go right on the day.

“You need so much luck on the day and if we do, then she has the credentials. You need the rub of the green especially in those places (Cheltenham).”

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