Maiden Gold Cup success for Willie Mullins as Al Boum Photo lands Cheltenham’s top prize

Jockey Paul Townend celebrates his victory in the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase on Al Boum Photo.
Jockey Paul Townend celebrates his victory in the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase on Al Boum Photo.
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Al Boum Photo gave trainer Willie Mullins his first victory in the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup following a dramatic race for the showpiece event at the Prestbury Park course.

Leading at the second-last fence, Al Boum Photo (12-1) dug deep for jockey Paul Townend, who was also winning the Gold Cup for the first time.

Anibale Fly stayed on strongly to finish second, two and a half lengths away, with Bristol De Mai another three and three-quarter lengths back in third.

After six second places, Mullins finally broke his Gold Cup hoodoo. His three other runners - Kemboy, Bellshill and Invitation Only - failed to finish.

An emotional Townend said: “I can’t believe it. It’s the Gold Cup, there’s only one a year and I never dreamt I’d win it.

“Like any race, when you’re going well it’s so simple.

“It’s unbelievable and I’m privileged to be riding for Willie Mullins.”