Last year’s winner Al Boum Photo heads a field of 12 after all the five-day confirmations were declared for the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup on Friday.
Al Boum Photo ended Willie Mullins hoodoo in the blue riband of steeplechasing and has trod the same path by winning his warm-up race at Tramore on New Year’s Day.
Mullins also saddles Kemboy, who bids to atone for his first-fence departure last year. He went on to win Grade Ones at Aintree and Punchestown, but has been beaten in both his starts this season behind the reopposing Delta Work.
His trainer Gordon Elliott is aiming for a second Gold Cup, following the triumph of Don Cossack four years ago. Real Steel is Mullins’ third string.
The Irish contingent is completed by Patrick Kelly’s Presenting Percy and the Henry de Bromhead pair of Monalee and Chris’s Dream.
The home team is headed by Nicky Henderson’s Santini, who took the Cotswold Chase on Cheltenham Festival Trials day in January.
Paul Nicholls has high hopes for dual King George hero Clan Des Obeaux as he bids to equal Tom Dreaper’s record of five Gold Cup wins.
Betfair Chase winner Lostintranslation and Elegant Escape are Colin Tizzard’s two representatives while the field is completed by the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Bristol De Mai, who was third in last year’s Gold Cup.