Willie Mullins eyes first Cheltenham Gold Cup with Bellshill and Al Boum Photo

Bellshill
Bellshill

Willie Mullins ranks Bellshill and Al Boum Photo as likely Gold Cup types this term.

Bellshill was top class as a novice hurdler and scored his first Grade One success over fences when claiming the Punchestown Gold Cup in April.

Mullins now hopes he can kick on from the triumph, saying: "I am very happy with how he has come out of his summer's rest.

"He is one that I'm going to try to make a Gold Cup horse out of this year, he'll go down that route, staying chases."

Al Boum Photo is also in the mix for top staying prizes after winning the Ryanair Novices Chase at Fairyhouse last Easter.

His campaign did not end on the same kind of high note as he ran out at Punchestown, but Mullins expects further progress this term.

He said: "He improved all year. I think I will have to aim him for a Gold Cup, whether it's in Leopardstown or Cheltenham.

"That's the route he will go down, he is a staying chaser, he has lots of ability and is improving all the time."

Sky Bet make Bellshill and Al Boum Photo priced up at 20/1 and 33/1 respectively in their antepost Gold Cup market.

Pleasant Company was edged out by a head in the Grand National at Aintree last year and all roads lead back to Liverpool this year.

Mullins said: "His aim will be to go back to Aintree again this season. The whole year will be aimed around going for the Aintree National.

"I thought I had him nailed on for the Irish National last year, but Malcolm (Denmark, owner) wanted to go to Aintree, and on the evidence of last year we were so close. Hopefully this year."


My Stable - Horse Tracking Made Simple

Click here to register log in to your My Stable account

It’s that time of the year when jump season takes centre stage. With thousands of horses, hundreds of jockeys and plenty of trainers performing across the UK & Ireland in multiple meetings every single day, it can be tough to keep track of all that catches your eye.

But not any longer. Our My Stable service is the simple and perfect way to stay on top (and ahead) of the game. You can easily follow the progress of your favourite horses, jockeys and trainers across six months of pure racing theatre by adding them to My Stable.

It’s your own personal space on your free Sporting Life account where you can create a yard full of talent that means something to you. That way, you can develop your racing knowledge and build a better picture of the races to come. Plus, you also get notifications when anyone in My Stable is due to perform so you never miss a jump – or an opportunity to profit.


Mullins also has Aintree in mind for Rathvinden, winner of the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham.

He said: "He was very good in Cheltenham. He would look to me to be a Grand National horse as well, whether it's the Irish or English. He will run in handicap chases on the way to one of the Nationals."

Yorkhill won the JLT Novices' Chase at Cheltenham in 2017 but after a couple of disappointing chase efforts last year, Mullins went back to hurdles, although he enjoyed little success.

He said: "I have to start him over fences. He had a funny year last year, nothing went right for him.

"The potential he showed this time last year, we didn't get that out of him at all. I think I'll keep him at three miles over fences.

"He jumps a bit left and we are going to have to try to control that, but maybe if he is in better form or better order this year, we might be able to manage it. We certainly were able to manage it up to last year anyway."

Total Recall snatched a last-gasp win in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury last year before claiming a richly-endowed hurdle at Leopardstown. But after failing to make an impression at Cheltenham, Aintree or Punchestown, Mullins expects him to be up against it this campaign.

He said: "He is going to be a bit harder to place because obviously he is probably at the top of his mark. He ran very well in the Gold Cup before he came down, we thought he was going to have a first three finish maybe.

"That puts him in line for a lot of Grade Two or Grade Three races. It might be tough for him to break through to Grade One.

"There might be a good handicap in him. He is entered in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury, but that's probably not realistic. He could possibly go for something like the Troytown or the Thyestes."

While Total Recall looks unlikely for Newbury, Punchestown novice chase winner Kemboy could be heading in that direction.

Mullins added: "We will start him off in handicaps. If I can get a run into him before the Ladbrokes Trophy I will. If he runs well there then he could make the jump up. He is certainly a horse that has improved and is still improving."


GET THE FULL PICTURE: Don't miss out on FREE video replays and our fantastic My Stable tracker. Log in now and become a Sporting Life Insider.

Related horse racing links

Like what you've read?
Help your friends Know It All by sharing this article to your social media.

Most Read Racing

Check out our latest daily racing preview1

Wednesday's racing preview

Anita Chambers backs Caspar The Cub to get back to winning ways on Wednesday - she has a tip for every race.

2

Daily Nap: Top of the class

Matt Brocklebank is in the Sporting Life Daily Nap hotseat on Wednesday and he reckons Warren Greatrex's Top Rock Talula can justify support at Lingfield.

Presenting Percy is brilliant in the RSA Chase3

Percy lines up in Galmoy

Cheltenham Gold Cup favourite Presenting Percy is all set to make his seasonal reappearance in the John Mulhern Galmoy Hurdle at Gowran Park on Thursday.

Cold snap is biting into the programme4

Wednesday jumps cards off

There will be no National Hunt racing in Britain on Wednesday after scheduled meetings at Catterick and Hereford were both called off due to frost.

Trainer John Gosden5

Handicappers: Six dark horses

Check out six dark horses to follow on the flat from the leading handicappers in the UK and Ireland.

Most Read Racing

Check out our latest daily racing preview1

Wednesday's racing preview

Anita Chambers backs Caspar The Cub to get back to winning ways on Wednesday - she has a tip for every race.

2

Daily Nap: Top of the class

Matt Brocklebank is in the Sporting Life Daily Nap hotseat on Wednesday and he reckons Warren Greatrex's Top Rock Talula can justify support at Lingfield.

Presenting Percy is brilliant in the RSA Chase3

Percy lines up in Galmoy

Cheltenham Gold Cup favourite Presenting Percy is all set to make his seasonal reappearance in the John Mulhern Galmoy Hurdle at Gowran Park on Thursday.

Cold snap is biting into the programme4

Wednesday jumps cards off

There will be no National Hunt racing in Britain on Wednesday after scheduled meetings at Catterick and Hereford were both called off due to frost.

Trainer John Gosden5

Handicappers: Six dark horses

Check out six dark horses to follow on the flat from the leading handicappers in the UK and Ireland.

Next Race Off

15:22 Pornichet
1
(3)
Runnymede
J: P C Boudot
6
(10)
Troiscentsept
J: F Valle Skar
3
(7)
Belcha
J: C Lecoeuvre
5
(6)
Golden Power
J: H Journiac
13
(4)
Broadleas
J: P Bazire
11
(2)
Reve De Chop
J: Alex Roussel
9
(11)
Genial Bere
J: C Grosbois
4
(12)
Dream Of Palace
J: J Smith
10
(1)
Walderbe
J: M Berto
7
(13)
Mont Artiste
J: F Lefebvre
8
(9)
Mister Mario
J: J Claudic
12
(5)
Adriano Bello
J: L Oger
2
(8)
Alpatkinoss
J: J Nicoleau

Racing Tips

Daily Nap: Top of the class

Matt Brocklebank is in the Sporting Life Daily Nap hotseat on Wednesday and he reckons Warren Greatrex's Top Rock Talula can justify support at Lingfield.

Check out our latest daily racing preview

Wednesday's racing preview

Anita Chambers backs Caspar The Cub to get back to winning ways on Wednesday - she has a tip for every race.

Check out our latest daily racing preview

Thursday's racing preview

Anita Chambers makes How Far her best bet at Chelmsford and she has a tip for every race in the UK and Ireland.