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Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup
BETDAQ
Grade 1, Cheltenham 15:30
£625,000 added,
5yo plus,
3m 2f 110y, Class 1  
Friday 15th March 2019

1 Al Boum Photo 12/1
2 Anibale Fly 22/1
3 Bristol De Mai 18/1
16 ran Distances: 2½l, 3¾l, 3l
Time: 6m 39.06s (slow by 2.06s)

Al Boum Photo wins the Gold Cup for Willie Mullins!

"I thought I might never win a Gold Cup," admitted Willie Mullins after finally winning Jump racing's top prize with 12/1 chance Al Boum Photo.
 
Mullins has now achieved a record 65 winners at The Festival™ presented by Magners. Including today's quartet (Al Boum Photo, Bellshill, Invitation Only and Kemboy), he has had 26 runners in the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup and has finished second six times.
 
But seven-year-old French-bred Al Boum Photo, owned by Joe Donnelly and his wife Marie, rose to the occasion under Paul Townend - for whom it was also a first Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup success - and beat the Tony Martin-trained Anibale Fly (Barry Geraghty) by two and a half lengths.
 
"I'm delighted, and especially for my owners. Marie and Joe have put a big commitment into our yard, so it's great to get one like that. And I'm absolutely delighted for Paul [Townend] - to me he had a very unlucky day in Punchestown [he elected to go past the final fence when in the lead in a G1 novices' chase on Al Boum Photo in April 2018], and to do it on this horse would be special for Paul. 
 
" I actually thought Bellshill would take a lot of beating but Ruby [Walsh] was never happy with him and pulled him up early. Al Boum Photo was probably third or fourth in my pecking order coming into the Gold Cup, and at the top of the hill first time round he was number one! It was extraordinary - the other three were gone by the time they came to the second-last first time round. That's the luck of the game, but every time I looked at Paul, he and the horse seemed to be a rhythm, galloping away, looking so relaxed, and when he came to the top of the hill when he wanted a chop he gave it to him and I thought, this horse has got plenty left in the tank. I didn't know how much but I said he's got something there if he keeps jumping. 
 
"Going to the second-last Paul said, 'time to go', and all he had to do was jump the last, which he did. We didn't have any last-fence worries, and it was fantastic. A fter the last, I just looked at the winning line and what was coming behind us and thought that he will win unless he stops or runs out.

Trainers Quotes

"We've had placed horses, obviously, but it's nice to get one on the board.
 
"The early ones were probably disappointing, but you get used to it. I had probably resigned myself to never winning a Gold Cup, so I didn't really obsess about it and get too disappointed about it.  It is like certain jockeys have never won the Grand National and others guys have never won a Champion Hurdle. Racing has been very good to me, I have a fantastic life in racing and I resigned myself to thinking that if I never won it then so be it. Sometimes trainers train certain types of horses in a certain way and maybe it wasn't a Gold Cup way, even though we were so close, so I thought maybe it's not to be. You get one chance at it every year, and this year when three of them were gone, I thought it was another year like that. So I probably had all my disappointment out of me early in the race. I'm thrilled to win it. 
 
"When Dawn Run won the Gold Cup [in 1986, trained by Mullins' father Paddy] I didn't get home for three or four days, and it might take a bit longer this time, but we'll see. Between Ascot, here and Melbourne, we've been hitting the board the whole time, so I am very proud for the whole yard and all my owners who give huge commitments to our yard. It's a victory for them as well."

Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase
£625,000 added, 5yo plus, 3m 2f 70y, Class 1
16 ran
Going: Good to Soft

Pos Dist Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st Al Boum Photo (FR) 12/1 P Townend
11-10
W P Mullins 7
2nd Anibale Fly (FR) 22/1 B J Geraghty
11-10
A J Martin 9
3rd Bristol De Mai (FR) 18/1 D A Jacob
11-10
N A Twiston-Davies 8
4th 3 Native River (IRE) 6/1 R Johnson
11-10
C L Tizzard 9
5th Clan Des Obeaux (FR) 5/1 H Cobden
11-10
P F Nicholls 7
6th 15 Elegant Escape (IRE) 20/1 T J O'Brien
11-10
C L Tizzard 7
7th Yala Enki (FR) 100/1 Charlie Deutsch
11-10
Miss V Williams 9
8th Presenting Percy 10/3f D N Russell
11-10
P G Kelly 8
9th Shattered Love (IRE) 20/1 J W Kennedy
11-3
G Elliott 8
PU   Bellshill (IRE) 9/1 R Walsh
11-10
W P Mullins 9
BD   Definitly Red (IRE) 50/1 Danny Cook
11-10
B Ellison 10
PU   Double Shuffle (IRE) 100/1 J J Burke
11-10
T R George 9
F   Invitation Only (IRE) 33/1 Mr P W Mullins
11-10
W P Mullins 8
UR   Kemboy (FR) 8/1 D J Mullins
11-10
W P Mullins 7
PU   Might Bite (IRE) 14/1 Nico de Boinville
11-10
N J Henderson 10
PU   Thistlecrack 12/1 T Scudamore
11-10
C L Tizzard 11

previous winners