Cheltenham Festival: Ruby Walsh names the horse he would love to ride at 2021 Festival

Ruby has no doubts about which ride he wants


*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

Ruby Walsh has revealed that if he could come out of retirement and ride any horse at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival, it would be Al Boum Photo.

Willie Mullins’ charger is chasing his third consecutive Gold Cup victory, which would put him into the history books alongside Golden Miller, Cottage Rake, Arkle and Best Mate.

Paul Townend was on board for both of Al Boum Photo’s previous wins in 2019 and 2020, but Ruby says he would be eyeing that booking if he was given one more shot at Prestbury Park.

Speaking on the latest episode of our ‘Countdown to Cheltenham’ podcast, the Paddy Power ambassador was full of praise for the under-appreciated nine-year-old.

Listen to the full show BELOW.

If I could come back and ride one horse at this year’s festival, it would be Al Boum Photo in the Gold Cup.

If he wins, that would be his third Gold Cup and that would be history.

People don’t see much of Al Boum Photo. Therefore he doesn’t ingrain in their minds like horses they see more of, and they don’t have the same affiliation for him. That being said, if he can go back and win a third Gold Cup then what’s to say that he won’t go back and win a fourth?

He won last year’s race against the run of play – it was a race completely run to not suit him, as well as Santini in second – and I would argue they only finished there because the jockeys on their backs (Paul Townend and Nico de Boinville) realised they had gone too slow for two stayers. They set sail and turned it into a one-mile sprint.

Gold Cup: Paddy Power punters looking to take on Al Boum Photo 

Al Boum Photo Paul Townend Gold Cup Cheltenham Festival March 13, 2020



Al Boum Photo won a race that went against him, and looking at the make-up of this year’s race with Frodon and Native River, it could suit him more. He could be hard to beat and he could potentially join illustrious company and become a triple Gold Cup winner. That’s a hell of training performance, and from the horse and the rider. I hope he does it.

Standing in the yard, Patrick Mullins often says if someone pointed to Al Boum Photo and said “that’s a dual Gold Cup winner” you would be thinking “how?” He’s not that imposing and he doesn’t stand out from the string.

He’s just a normal horse and he has terrific stamina. He has a great cruising speed, he’s very sound and his jumping is fine. He has learnt to get himself from A to B but his jumping is not his strongest point. However, he can stay incredibly well and that’s what Gold Cup winners do.

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change


13.20 – JCB Triumph Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 179y

13.55 – County Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m 179y

14.30 – Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 7f 213y

15.05 – Cheltenham Gold Cup (Grade 1) 3m 2f 70y

15.40 – St. James’s Place Festival Challenge Cup 3m 2f 70y

16.15 – Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase (Grade 2) 2m 4f 127y

16.50 – Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle 2m 4f 56y

*Paddy will be all over your telly box throughout the Cheltenham Festival sponsoring ITV’s live coverage from Prestbury Park – and you can get free and exclusive tipping columns EVERY DAY from Ruby Walsh, Matt Chapman and Mick Fitzgerald here on PP News.


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