Clan Des Obeaux holds off favourite Al Boum Photo to clinch victory in the Punchestown Gold Cup


Sir Alex Ferguson co-owned Clan Des Obeaux holds off favourite Al Boum Photo to clinch victory in the Punchestown Gold Cup

  • Nicholls could have run Clan Des Obeaux at Sandown on Saturday 
  • The trainer opted to take on the Irish in their own back yard on Wednesday 
  • The 100-30 shot, ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies, won by a length and a half

Paul Nicholls was celebrating the bold decision to pitch Clan Des Obeaux into the Punchestown Gold Cup after the Sam Twiston-Davies-ridden 100-30 shot beat Al Boum Photo a length and a half on Wednesday.

The result was a fillip for British jump racing after Irish-trained horses ruled at the Cheltenham Festival and in the Grand National this spring.

Nicholls could have run Clan Des Obeaux at Sandown on Saturday but, emboldened by the gelding’s Betway Bowl win at Aintree, opted to take on the Irish in their own back yard with the horse part-owned by Sir Alex Ferguson.

Sam Twiston-Davies celebrates winning the Punchestown Gold Cup on Clan Des Obeaux

Sam Twiston-Davies celebrates winning the Punchestown Gold Cup on Clan Des Obeaux

Positive tactics paid off for Twiston-Davies, who was standing in for injured jockey Harry Cobden on Clan Des Obeaux, who has been enlivened by cheekpieces being fitted.

Victory was sealed when he out-jumped Willie Mullins-trained dual Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Al Boum Photo, the 6-4 favourite, in the closing stages. It was the first win for a British runner in the race since Philip Hobbs-trained Planet Of Sound in 2010.

Nicholls said: ‘That was one of the sweetest winners of the season. I have seen Clan jump a little better but that shows how good he is when he is right.

‘Next season it will be the King George, Aintree and this race for him.’

Six Grade One races have been run over the first two days of the Punchestown Festival and Clan Des Obeaux has denied Mullins a clean sweep. Ireland’s champion trainer followed Tuesday’s treble with success with Kilcruit (Champion Bumper) and Galopin Des Champs (3m Novice Hurdle) yesterday.

Meanwhile, STRADVARIUS is 6-4 to win a fourth Ascot Gold Cup after his win in the Sagaro Stakes at Ascot.



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