BECAUSE Al Boum Photo had six ‘runners up’ in the past, it’s understandable why Mullins was becoming so pessimistic about ever winning the Gold Cup.
Nevertheless, his negativities were put to rest when he experienced significant success in the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup last year. The horse is back again this year aiming to repeat that success in the 2020 Gold Cup race which takes place on Friday 13th March 2020.
In more recent years, his performance has been exceptional. It was only this January at Tramore when he made a winning comeback, after coming a close second at Punchestown back in 2019. In 2018, he won once more, but then a year earlier, only came second at Leopardstown. Ultimately, he has displayed a mixed performance overall.
As the 8-year old Gelding has been performing consistently recently, he is seen as a strong contender of this year’s Gold Cup with punters looking at different Cheltenham Gold Cup tips ahead of the race to back a possible winner.
A Mixed Past Performance with a Strong Chance of Success in 2020
Rewind to the glory days of horseracing and the Gold Cup, and you can witness some great winnings and hat tricks. Golden Miller is the first that springs to mind, with an impressive total of five victories since 1932. Easter Hero is another winner that cannot be forgotten, winning the 1929 and 1930 seasons.
It’s true to say that things were slightly different back then. Cheltenham wasn’t quite so prestigious and was even considered something of a trial to its more significant counterpart The Grand National. However, Al Boum could be in with a chance as it has been proven in the past that horses are capable of winning the Gold Cup in consecutive years.
Since the early days, there have been other notable winners. Jim Culloty is worth a mention. He is one of five jockeys who not only rode a winner but also went on to train a winner. It was 2014 with the surprising 20-1 from Lord Windemere.
How did Al Boum Photo Come Out on Top in 2019?
Under Paul Townend, he managed to beat Tony Martin’s Anibale Fly by an impressive two and a half lengths despite the disappointing performance at Punchestown. Not only a big moment for the horse but also trainer Willie Mullins as this was his first ever victory in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Al Boum Photo will have some stiff competition at this year’s Gold Cup. Nicky Henderson’s Santini is one of the major rivals. This particular horse had outstanding success against Bristol de Mai in the Paddy Power Cotswold Chase trial by unexpectedly beating Bristol to the finish line.
However, it is fair to say that Bristol de Mai remains a tough competitor as both horses pulled away by a fair distance from the rest of the runners.
Delta Work can equally be considered a competitor, who came third in the RSA Novices Chase back in 2019, not forgetting the more recent victories at Leopardstown.
Other potential rivals to Al Boum Photo include Clan des Obeaux, Presenting Percy and Kemboy.
Will Al Boum Win the 2020 Gold Cup This Time Round?
Al Boum Photo has experienced more successes in recent years, not just at Cheltenham, but various other courses too. After his exceptional performance at Cheltenham in 2019 and his recent racing performance and boundless energy, he does remain a firm favourite to win the 2020 Gold Cup.
Despite the stiff competition he faces, punters will still have every faith in him this season. Ultimately, a hat-trick or beyond is unlikely any time soon, however, based on his improvements in recent years, It can't be ruled out in the future. Nevertheless, he does have some way to go if he wants to rival the likes of Golden Miller, Arkle or Best Mate.