Twin Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Al Boum Picture seems to face a comparatively simple activity in his bid for a fourth successive victory within the Savills New 12 months’s Day Chase at Tramore.
The Willie Mullins-trained gelding first claimed the Listed contest in 2019 on his strategy to offering the winning-most coach in Cheltenham Competition historical past with an elusive first victory within the blue riband.
He repeated the feat in 2020 and pursued the identical route final season, however needed to make do with minor honours in third when bidding for the Gold Cup hat-trick.
Having rounded off the final marketing campaign by ending second to Clan Des Obeaux within the Punchestown Gold Cup, Mullins said his intention to race Al Boum Picture extra often this time period.
However with the Closutton handler having determined in opposition to working his cost in both the John Durkan at Punchestown or within the Many Clouds at Aintree in early December, he as soon as once more makes his seasonal reappearance in County Waterford.
Patrick Mullins, assistant to his father, mentioned: “The best alternative simply did not come up, so Willie, ‘if unsure, take it out’.
“We would attempt to get one other run into him earlier than Cheltenham if we are able to discover the best alternative. However he’s as able to go as he ever is for this race. We’ll attempt to match (Grade One Matheson Hurdle winner) Sharjah and win 4 in a row.
“He’s an older horse and he wants a bit extra galloping. In a really perfect world, giving him one other run earlier than Cheltenham is what we wish to do.”
Al Boum Picture is joined by 4 stablemates, together with Acapella Bourgeois, who has crammed the runner-up spot in every of the final two renewals.
The Wealthy and Susannah Ricci-owned trio of Annamix, Brahma Bull and final season’s Grand Nationwide fourth Burrows Saint full the Mullins quintet, with Gordon Elliott’s Hardline the one different runner.
Mullins junior added: “Acapella appears to run effectively round right here as effectively – I believe the observe actually fits him.
“He’s clearly 12 years previous now and he has to provide 7lb to all the things bar Al Boum, so it will not be simple for him. However it’s his first run of the season and it’s a good place for him to begin.
“The others are all getting 7lb. They’ve all had a run. Brahma Bull and Annamix are match from the summer time.
“Burrows Saint had a run however his principal goal will probably be later within the season clearly at Aintree, so it’s a race that fits a few of these horses who’re laborious to position. Al Boum will be unable to be beneath par with a purpose to beat them.”