Minella Indo's Irish Gold Cup run has put him back on track in his quest to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup for the second year in a row, according to trainer Henry de Bromhead.
The reigning Gold Cup champion finished six and a half lengths behind Conflated and is 11/2 for the Festival showpiece next month, which will be available on the Sports Live Streaming platform.
It was a timely return to form for Minella Indo at Leopardstown after he was pulled up in the King George at Kempton.
With Robbie Power in the saddle for the first time, Minella Indo stayed on to good effect after shock 18/1 winner Conflated got first run and the greater emphasis on stamina at Cheltenham will be right up his street.
The Barry Maloney-owned nine-year-old has produced his best at the festival, winning the Albert Barlett in 2019 and finishing second to Champ in the 2020 RSA before claiming Gold Cup glory from stablemate A Plus Tard last year.
De Bromhead said: "Indo is really good. It was lovely to see him performing like that again. It was a slowly run race and turned into a bit of a sprint.
"The winner won well but we went there trying to get back on track and I felt we really did that, so I'm delighted with him."
Power, who won the Gold Cup on Sizing John in 2017, added: "I had a great ride. He travelled and jumped super. You'd have to be very happy with him going forward.
"Davy [Russell, on Conflated] injected a bit of pace into the race at the back of the third-last and I was delighted with the way my fella kept at it. You could definitely argue that he ran better in the race this year than he did last year."