Punchestown Gold Cup Guide 2021

Punchestown - April 27 2021
Punchestown 16:55
1
Paul Townend

Al Boum Photo

J:
 
Paul Townend
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 9
Weight: 11-12
OR: 170
Days: 40

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 twice.

Straight after this seasons 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.

He was looking to make history in this year's Gold Cup when trying to land three straight renewals of the race and unfortunately he fell short being outclassed by Minella Indo and A Plus Tard.

He is a leading player in this field especially with Minella Indo being a non runner and the form of his Gold Cup run looks the best on offer.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
22/05/22AUT30VSft10-10PU
27/04/22PUN24Gd/Y11-103
18/03/22CHL26.5GS11-106
01/01/22TRM22Sft/Hy11-101
28/04/21PUN24.5Y11-122
Punchestown - April 27 2021
Punchestown 16:55
2
Sam Twiston-Davies

Clan Des Obeaux

J:
 
Sam Twiston-Davies
T:
 
Paul Nicholls
Age: 9
Weight: 11-12
OR: 170
Days: 20

Dual King George winner Clan Des Obeaux got back to winning ways last time out having gone four races without success heading to Aintree for the Grade One Betway Bowl, where he went on to bolt up

Last season he started his term off over in Northern Ireland in November with Nicholls sending him into the Grade One Champion Chase at Down Royal and he finished a smart second behind Road To Respect and it worked out to be the perfect prep run ahead of the King George VI.

He went on to become a dual King George winner on Boxing Day 2019 and looked to add a third on the 26th December 2020 having had a superb prep run at Haydock.

Having not gone down the same route as last year with heading over to Down Royal, Nicholls took Clan Des Obeaux to the Merseyside track for the Grade One Betfair Chase.

Having ran a stormer the whole way round, the heavy ground in the final stages told and saw him finish a close second to triple winner of the race Bristol De Mai.

He headed to Kempton full of confidence, but unfortunately it was not to be with stablemate Frodon stealing the show.

Next time out he was seen at Newbury in the Grade Two Denman Chase, which he won last year, but this time he around he was narrowly outstayed by stablemate Secret Investor.

Nicholls decided to put some headgear on the superstar and it worked a treat at Aintree when he looked back to his best winning the Grade One

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
07/04/22AIN25GS11-71
12/02/22NBY23.5GS11-63
26/12/21KEM24Sft11-102
28/04/21PUN24.5Y11-121
08/04/21AIN25GS11-71
Punchestown - April 27 2021
Punchestown 16:55
5
Danny Mullins

Kemboy

J:
 
Danny Mullins
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 9
Weight: 11-12
OR: 167
Days: 40

The nine year old has been a fine chaser for the yard over the years, landing the Savills Chase in 2018 and then in 2019 going on to frank that form by taking out the Betway Bowl Chase at Aintree and the Punchestown Gold Cup.

Unfortunately last season, the star sort of lost his way when putting in lesser performances in the Savills Chase and Cheltenham Gold Cup, with Mullins looking for the star to bounce back to form this year.

He made his seasonal return at Thurles which saw him blow the cobwebs away nicely, to finish second behind Presenting Percy in a Listed event.

That put him spot on for the Savills Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas and if the race was 20 yards shorter he would have won, with A Plus Tard getting up on the line.

He backed that up last time out when landing the Grade One Irish Gold Cup at the Dublin Racing Festival and that now looks some strong form.

Last time out in the Cheltenham Gold Cup he ran no sort of race with him hating the track, having never ran well at Prestbury Park.

Getting back to a course and distance he has won over and conditions he also enjoys, he could be a very live player if bouncing back.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
18/09/22LIS20Gd11-22
21/05/22AUT25.5VSft10-106
27/04/22PUN24Gd/Y11-104
07/04/22AIN25GS11-73
05/02/22LEO24.5Y11-105
Punchestown - April 27 2021
Punchestown 16:55
6
Mr P W Mullins

Melon

J:
 
Mr P W Mullins
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 9
Weight: 11-12
OR: 165
Days: 41

Melon is the second runner for Willie Mullins and a bit of a surprise entry having been looking to not stay over the same course and distance in the Savills Chase over Christmas, when just fading into third.

That run was still a extremely special effort, having taken on stablemate Kemboy from a long way out and just not having enough in the tank in the final stages.

He was a very smart horse over hurdles finishing second three times in a row at the Cheltenham festival in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle and Champion Hurdle Twice.

Having been finding his feet as a novice, it all came together at the Cheltenham festival when finishing a narrow second in a photo-finish to Samcro in the Marsh Novices' Chase.

Having finished a good third behind stablemate Min on debut in the Grade One John Durkan Memorial Chase at Punchestown, his run in the Savills was another superb effort.

However, in both the Irish Gold Cup and Ryanair Chase he ran no sort of race and for a horse with his ability it was strange to see.

He needs to bounce back in a big way and it is still unknown whether he stays this trip.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
16/05/22KLN20Gd11-82
17/04/22COR24Hy11-81
17/03/22CHL20.5Sft11-105
19/02/22GOW20Hy11-31
28/12/21LEO24Y11-124
Punchestown - April 27 2021
Punchestown 16:55
4
Mark Walsh

Fakir D'oudairies

J:
 
Mark Walsh
T:
 
Joseph Patrick O'Brien
Age: 6
Weight: 11-12
OR: 164
Days: 19

Bounded onto the scene in the UK when bolting up a Grade Two at Cheltenham for juveniles. His impressive antics saw the gold and green of McManus swoop and purchase him before he was sent off favourite for that years’ Supreme. 

Beaten into the he stayed on like a trooper and hinted then that his future could lie over further than the minimum trip. 

Immediately moved to chasing, he made handy use of his four year old weight for age allowance. Beating Melon on chase debut, he was then a lucky winner of the Grade One Drinmore when Samcro blundered two out. 

Second in last years’ Arkle he again looked tapped for a bit of pace, but again put in a solid performance to take Put The Kettle on all the way.

In open company he’s ran over two miles being beaten by Notebook, three miles where he didn’t stay the trip and pulled up and then dropped right back down to two miles to be second to Chacun Pour Soi in the Dublin Chase.

He then headed into the Grade One Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham festival and was again another solid second behind the wide margin winner Allaho, who would have beaten anyone on the day.

Last time out the six year old gave a career best performance over fences to take the Grade One Melling Chase at Aintree, seeing off the likes of Politologue.

Stepping back up to three miles looks a worry and being turned around so quickly, twice in a row, could leave him vulnerable.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
08/04/22AIN20GS11-71
19/02/22ASC21Sft11-71
23/01/22THU20.5Gd/Y11-122
05/12/21PUN20.5Y/Sft11-124
11/11/21CLO20.5Sft12-01
Punchestown - April 27 2021
Punchestown 16:55
3
Brian Hayes

Easy Game

J:
 
Brian Hayes
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 7
Weight: 11-12
OR: 158
Days: 23

The final runner if the Grade One is the final horse for Willie Mullins in the event with the smart Easy Game being another who is stepping up in trip having never done well over three miles in the past.

Having been a smart horse over the years in Grade One and Two events, especially over fences, some of the horses in this field just look far better horses at this distance.

Over three miles this term he was seen finishing a tame seventh in the Savills Chase at Leopardstown and having ran over the same trip in the RSA Novices' Chase at Cheltenham and being well beaten before falling it looks a strange move.

However, he was seen back to his best last time out when a narrow winner of the Grade Two Devenish Chase at Fairyhouse, but we just cant have him up another half a mile.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
18/09/22LIS20Gd11-81
27/07/22GAL22.5Gd11-910
03/07/22TRM22Gd11-101
06/06/22LIS19Sft/Hy11-121
16/05/22KLN20Gd11-81

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