A Gold Cup for Mullins

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A Gold Cup for Mullins

AL BOUM PHOTO wins Gold Cup

Al Boum Photo powered home up the gruelling Cheltenham hill to claim a first Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup win for trainer Willie Mullins on the final day of the Festival.

Ireland’s champion trainer had saddled the runner-up in the Cheltenham feature on six previous occasions but 12-1 chance Al Boum Photo, ridden by Paul Townend, finally delivered him the biggest prize.

Second was Anibale Fly (22-1), who went one place better than in last year’s race, and third went to the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Bristol De Mai at 18-1 under Daryl Jacob.

Last year’s winner Native River was a brave fourth having taken up the running with a circuit to travel, matching strides for most of the race with 2018 second-placed Might Bite – until the two of them were swamped by challengers with two jumps to go.

Clan Des Obeaux, the King George winner, was back in fifth for Paul Nicholls and Harry Cobden.

Elegant Escape was sixth ahead of Yala Enki while 100-30 favourite Presenting Percy could manage only seventh after making mistakes throughout in the hands of Davy Russell.

Mullins’ supposed first-string Bellshill pulled-up before halfway and fellow stablemate Invitation Only took a fall, bringing down Definity Red in the process. Mullins’ fourth representative, Kemboy, also crashed out, departing at the very first fence.

Jockey Richard Johnson said of 2018 hero Native River: “To be fair, after the second last he stayed on again and he’s still run a very good race. He’s done nothing wrong and it’s a very good race.” – www.sportinglife.com

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