Reigning Gold Cup winner Al Boum Photo is on course to defend his title at Cheltenham following a reappearance victory at Tramore.
Willie Mullins finally ended his long wait for victory in the Cheltenham showpiece when the gelding beat Anibale Fly and Bristol De Mai. He was good value for his victory and has taken an identical route this season, winning comfortably at Tramore in the New Year’s Day Chase.
Mullins sees no reason to change a winning formula so it seems certain that Al Boum Photo will head straight to the Festival. He has not received much credit for his victory but he is now favourite at around 5-1. Altior’s step up in distance back-fired early in the season and Cyrname’s King George defeat did little to advertise his prospects.
Clan Des Obeaux claimed his second King George but appeared to have his stamina limitations exposed in last season’s Gold Cup. Mullins also has Kemboy lined up for the Gold Cup, an early casualty 12 months’ ago.
Kemboy defeated Al Boum Photo at Punchestown last season and looked a bit rusty on his reappearance at Leopardstown behind Delta Work. Monalee finished only a head behind Delta Work and he could come into the equation, particularly if the going is testing.