Leading Irish trainer Willie Mullins has announced that he will be sticking to his original plan of sending Al Boum Photo straight to the Gold Cup at the Cheltenham festival in March, off the back of his winning seasonal debut at Tramore.
Al Boum Photo has been the winner of the Grade Three Savills Chase at Tramore on New Year's Day for the last three seasons and after winning that event has gone on to land the Gold Cup in the last two years.
He is looking to make history this season by becoming the fourth horse to win the the race three years on the bounce and Mullins has announced he will not run again before the Cheltenham feature event.
Straight after the race Mullins was not overjoyed with the superstars performance, but on reflection was a little harsh on his stable star after the nine year old went on to beat stablemate Acapella Bourgeois by 19 lengths.
The Closutton handler did think about running the horse that gave him his first Gold Cup again before the festival, but has now revealed he will stick to the initial plan.
(Credit ATR) Mullins said: “He seems great after his run.
“I think the longer break, with not going to Punchestown, he was a bit more ring-rusty than we expected.
“The first two miles of the race were run at two-mile pace with Djingle cutting out a fast pace.
“When we put it all together I was much happier when I analysed it at home than I was leaving the racetrack.
“He didn’t stop going through the line. He just idled mid-race when he had no company around him. Danny (Mullins) was way ahead on Acapella Bourgeois.
“He just idled, but once he got close to him around the home turn, to beat a 150 horse 19 lengths could be as good as any performance over Christmas.”