The 2019 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Al Boum Photo has gotten his season off to a winning start.
The Willie Mullins trained eight-year-old won the feature race at Tramore today - the Savills New Years Day Steeplechase.
Paul Townend, who also guided him to victory for the Gold Cup back in March, was on board today as he came in ahead of stablemate Acapella Bourgeois and the Gordan Elliott trained Shattered Love.
Speaking to Racing TV, Mullins was happy with how the race went but said it was a stressful watch.
"It was worse than watching the Gold Cup.
"At least in the Gold Cup, there's all sorts of horses that can beat you.
"We were just hoping today that something out of the ordinary wouldn't happen.
"Paul was very positive on him, gave him a good race.
"He was positive and made him work and I was happy with that and he jumped well.
"Paul was wondering did he give him too hard a race but I think he needed a hard race, and we have that under our belts now."
Mullins also outlined his plans for Al Boum Photo as he prepares to defend his Gold Cup title.
"I think we might do what we did last year and go straight to Cheltenham.
"I know last year we didn't go to Leopardstown because of the ground but I think we might just stick to the plan that works."
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