People often get surprised by what Willie Mullins does but he’s a creature of habit. As soon as Al Boum Photo won the Gold Cup last year, it was the biggest certainty that Willie would put him on the same route this year. He beat Acapella Bourgeois at Tramore on New Year’s Day, he’s in great form and looks a million dollars.
Kemboy got the better of him at Punchestown in his other outing since winning the Gold Cup but Punchestown is a much flatter track than Cheltenham, it’s more reliant on speed, and that suited Kemboy.
The only doubt here is history. Best Mate was the last horse to win this race back-to-back. Al Boum Photo is a clever horse, but he knows f**k all about history!
And I think he’ll win again.
If you go back and look at Best Mate’s profile, he ran three times before he won the Gold Cup the first time but the next two years he kept him fresh before the Gold Cup so I think Willie is doing the right thing with Al Boum Photo.
Al Boum Photo is a Gold Cup winner who’s still only eight-years-old. Santini is eight. here’s every chance Al Boum Photo is still improving. He was a very impressive winner last year. He made a mistake at the last and still won handy. The rest have a lot to do, and 7/2 is a very fair price. Clan Des Obeaux, Delta Work and Lostintranslation all have credentials but Al Boum Photo will win.
He will win.