Mullins seeking suitable ground for Irish Gold Cup absentee Al Boum Photo

Gowran a possible option after sidestepping Leopardstown run

  • Sunday 03 February
  • News
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Willie Mullins is eyeing the Red Mills Chase at Gowran for Al Boum Photo after the gelding was a late non-runner at Leopardstown on Sunday.

The seven-year-old was due to contest the Unibet Irish Gold Cup, but the quick ground was deemed unsuitable and Mullins is hoping conditions will be more favourable at Gowran on February 16.

He said: “Al Boum Photo will run wherever we get nice ground. He wants a cut in the ground and we have a great chance of getting it in the Red Mills at Gowran.

“The Bobbyjo (Chase at Punchestown on February 23) is another option, but the ground at Fairyhouse is still fairly lively so Gowran would look more likely.”

Mullins is also weighing up the options for Champion Hurdle hope Laurina, who was a wide-margin winner at Sandown last month on what has been her only start this term.

The Red Mills Trial Hurdle at Gowran and the Quevega Mares Hurdle at Punchestown on February 20 could come under consideration, although Mullins would favour the second event at present.

He said: “Laurina has Punchestown and Gowran as options for a run. Punchestown would be the preferred option at the minute and has been a lucky race for me and sits nicely.

“I’m not really worried about getting a run into her. We probably will, but I’m very happy to go there (to Cheltenham) without another run.

“I’d imagine she will go for the Champion Hurdle. Connections want to go there and I’m happy to go there unless something happens in the meantime.”

Mullins is leaning towards an outing at Gowran for Benie Des Dieux ahead of her Cheltenham date next month.

He added: “Benie Des Dieux will probably run in Gowran or Punchestown. She’ll probably go to Gowran and the Mares’ Hurdle at Cheltenham is her target for the year.”

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