Punchestown Festival News: Allaho and Clan Des Obeaux toe-to-toe in Gold Cup

Willie Mullins' Allaho and Paul Nicholls' Clan Des Obeaux will go toe-to-toe or should that be hoof to hoof in a thrilling Ladbrokes Punchestown Gold Cup on Wednesday, April 27.

Willie Mullins' Allaho and Paul Nicholls' Clan Des Obeaux are to go at it in the Ladbrokes Punchestown Gold Cup on Wednesday, April 27.

Clan Des Obeaux won the Grade 1 feature last year, while Allaho took the Ryanair at Cheltenham this year in fine style.

The Paul Nicholls-trained Clan Des Obeaux saw off dual Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Al Boum Photo at Punchestown last time and the Don of Ditcheat will be hopeful of a repeat after his recent Betway Bowl win at Aintree.

Allaho will be stepping back up to three miles and there are question marks over whether the Cheveley Park Stud runner will thrive over longer.

Mullins has a glut of five runners including Al Boum Photo, Kemboy, Tornado Flyer and Janidil.

Meanwhile, Joseph Patrick O'Brien's Aintree hero Fakir D'oudairies is another going over further after his Melling Chase exploits while Henry De Bromhead's Minella Indo is an interesting entry after finishing second in this year's Cheltenham Gold Cup.

The talented field is rounded off with Gordon Elliott's galloping Galvin who managed to beat A Plus Tard in the Savills Chase at Christmas before Henry De Bromhead's charge turned the tables at Cheltenham in the big one.

It will be a feast of jumps racing on Wednesday as the Mullins' trained The Nice Guy and Minella Cocooner tussle agin in the Irish Mirror Novice Hurdle after impressing in the Albert Bartlett at Cheltenham.

Gordon Elliott's Minella Crooner and Hollow Games also go alongside Journey With Me from De Bromhead's yard.

In the bumper, the hugely impressive Facile Vega will get all the attention in the Punchestown Champion I.N.H. Flat Race. The young jumper was so eye-catching when seeing off American Mike at Cheltenham.

Mullins sends four stable companions in Madmansgame, Redemption Day, Seabank Bistro and Viva Devito, while Elliott's Cheltenham runner-up American Mike is looking for revenge in the two miles, half a furlong contest.

Other entries include Paul Nolan's five-year-old Sandor Clegane, Simon Crawford's Carnfunnock and Paul Hennessy's Ocean Of Mercy.

Facile Vega looks likely to start as odds-on favourite in Ireland but any support for American Mike will be worth a market watch.

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