*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.
The slickest staying chasers are set to do battle for the final time this season – without Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Minella Indo in the field.
An under-the-radar victor of the biggest race at the Cheltenham Festival, Henry de Bromhead’s star was aiming to follow up in the Punchestown Gold Cup but will miss the meeting after suffering a bruised foot in training.
“Minella Indo has a bruised foot and is just a bit sore so we’re not going to run on Wednesday. He’s finished for the season now and he’ll go on his holidays. He’s won a Gold Cup for us and he’s had a brilliant year,” De Bromhead told the Racing Post.
“It’s disappointing that he won’t get to run at Punchestown, but fortunately it’s nothing serious and we’re pretty sure it is nothing more than just a bruised foot so he will back back rearing to go next season.”
Minella Indo’s injury leaves six runners declared for this year’s renewal – and two-time Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Al Boum Photo has assumed favouritism.
The chief threats to Willie Mullins’ runner are likely to be dual King George VI Chase winner Clan Des Obeaux, after being supplemented by trainer Paul Nicholls, and 2019 winner Kemboy.
The Punchestown Gold Cup should still be an absolute cracker and there’s €147,500 on the table for winning connections so one last prize pot for the campaign would do nicely.
The race was last run in 2019 in what proved to be Paddy Power ambassador Ruby Walsh’s last appearance in the saddle as he retired after riding Kemboy to victory. Last year’s renewal was scrapped because of the coronavirus restrictions so it’s fair to say the hype is building for this.
PUNCHESTOWN GOLD CUP RUNNERS AND RIDERS
Al Boum Photo 9 11-12 Mrs J Donnelly W P Mullins Paul Townend
Clan Des Obeaux 9 11-12 Mr & Mrs P K Barber, G Mason & Sir A Ferguson Paul Nicholls Sam Twison-Davies
Easy Game 7 11-12 Nicholas Peacock W P Mullins Brian Hayes
Fakir D’Oudairies 6 11-12 John P McManus Joseph Patrick O’Brien Mark Walsh
Kemboy 9 11-12 Kemboy/Brett Graham/Ken Sharp Syndicate W P Mullins Danny Mullins
Melon 9 11-12 Mrs J Donnelly W P Mullins Mr P W Mullins
- DON’T MISS OUR BRAND NEW SNAZZY RACECARDS FOR EVERY SINGLE RACE TODAY
- … THEN CHECK OUT ALL THE WINNERS BEFORE ANYONE ELSE WITH OUR FAST RESULTS
PUNCHESTOWN GOLD CUP BETTING
PUNCHESTOWN GOLD CUP TIPS
Ruby Walsh: “KEMBOY is better on flatter track and is a previous winner. He didn’t have that hard a race at Cheltenham when his chance was gone and he’s my pick to win it again.”
Frank Hickey: “I’ll take a chance for AL BOUM PHOTO who was over five lengths behind Minella Indo in the Gold Cup. I think he was a little below his best there.
“He was second here to Kemboy in 2019 but was going to the win the Novice Grade 1 over 3m, so I don’t think the track is any issue for him.”
Mick Fitzgerald: “Kemboy won this race two years ago and he loves this track but with Clan Des Obeaux likely to be ridden positively like he was at Aintree, it could upset Kemboy a little as he won’t get to dictate the pace.
“That makes me think it will just play into AL BOUM PHOTO‘s hands.”
READ MORE ON THE PUNCHESTOWN FESTIVAL
- Punchestown Festival 2021 key details and antepost tips
- Paddy Power Champion Hurdle entries, runners and betting
- PP trader Frank Hickey picks Aintree winner to track at Punchestown
- Ruby Walsh and Frank Hickey’s Punchestown Gold Cup antepost picks