AL BOUM PHOTO’S groom Imran Haider didn’t make it to Cheltenham last year due to family commitments but wild horses won’t keep him away this time as his pride and joy goes in defence of his Gold Cup crown.

Imran, a native of Pakistan, has been with the Willie Mullins stable for almost 16 years, having come over in 2004 with six others, four of whom are still working for the trainer. He started off learning to ride out in Pakistan and worked there for two years, going on to spend two years in Dubai before coming over to Closutton in company with a friend who had successfully applied for a job with Mullins.