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CHELTENHAM REWIND | Willie Mullins and Paul Townend’s Gold Cup hoodoo ends with Al Boum Photo

The Irish trainer’s 31-year-wait for success in the Cheltenham Festival’s showpiece event came to end in 2019 with Al Boum Photo’s success



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To celebrate Willie Mullins and Paul Townend turning 65 & 31, today’s rewind takes a look back at their first Cheltenham Gold Cup success together – with Al Boum Photo in the 2019 renewal of the contest.

Going off as a 12/1 shot, the gelding was slightly unknown after only running once since April 2018, landing a comfortable success in the Listed Savills Chase at Tramore in January.

Trainer Willie Mullins after Turban won the Underwriting Exchange Dan Moore Memorial Handicap Steeplechase at Fairyhouse Racecourse, Ratoath, Ireland.
Willie Mullins’ Cheltenham Gold Cup hoodoo came to an end in 2019 with Al Boum Photo

The then seven-year-old was the only runner of four remaining under the Closutton trainer at the halfway mark as Kemboy, Bellshill and Invitation Only had made early exits out of the contest.

watch: al boum photo wins the 2019 Cheltenham gold cup [credit: racing tv]

Coming around the home bend, Mullin’s recruit began to draw nearer to the leading pair of Native River and Might Bite, pushing his way through the pair as they made the way into the home straight.

Fending off the late challenge of Bristol De Mai, the gelding flew home in the final stages to land success by two and a half lengths.

Al Boum Photo would return to Cheltenham to land a Gold Cup double a year later, before finishing third in the 2021 renewal of the contest.

Reece Charlton is a Content Writer at Low6 that specializes in horse racing. He is an avid hunter of value in the racing world, picking out longshots six days a week across the National Hunt and Flat cards on offer across the UK and Ireland. He keeps punters and race fans in the know with his racing expertise with previews and value picks for all the big cards and meetings.