The Cheltenham Gold Cup is approaching, and one horse who will be lining up in the race is Al Boum Photo, the horse that has won this race for the past two seasons.
Winning a Gold Cup three times is almost impossible, winning it in three consecutive years is even harder. However, of the three Gold Cups, the two he has won and the one he is running in shortly, does this give him the easiest chance, and does he look destined to land three titles?
Al Boum Photo Prep Going to Plan
If you like to watch national hunt racing because you want to see the best take each other on, then Al Boum Photo is probably a horse you don’t like too much. We see him once before Cheltenham, at the same race at Tramore on New Years Day.
He’s won this race prior to heading to Cheltenham for the past two seasons and has won it again this year as part of his prep work. He is rarely seen and spoken about much in the International racing news, and considering he’s won two Gold Cups, the horse has a fairly low profile.
In terms of that prep, things have gone perfect for Al Boum Photo, even though we have only seen him once. This isn’t really great for racing as a whole, but at the end of the day, Willie Mullins wanted to get this horse to win a Gold Cup, and this prep is, in his opinion, the best way of doing that.
Standard of the Opposition & Question Marks Over Them
With Cheltenham betting offers appearing ahead of the meeting, many people will be looking to find their banker of the meeting. Al Boum Photo will be one to consider, not only because of what he has done, but simply because the opposition he has to face this year don’t look to be up to scratch.
The raiders from Ireland include A Plus Tard, a doubtful stayer, Kemboy, Minella Indo and Delta Work. None of those have shown anywhere near the level of form to get involved in a Gold Cup so far this season.
English runner include Royal Pagaille, a novice and one that has only really burst onto the scene over the past few months. Santini looks to need further than this distance, despite finishing second last season, and hasn’t been in the same kind of form this time around. Champ hasn’t ran yet, after winning the RSA Chase last season at the festival, Frodon looks a doubtful stayer and Native River is at the end of his career, despite winning nicely in the rearranged Cotswold Chase recently.
Is Al Boum Photo an excellent horse, with two Gold Cups behind him? Yes. Does the opposition this year look weaker than those he has beaten for the past two seasons, both in terms of who he is against and their current form? You would have to say yes to this too.
All eyes will be on the biggest prize of all next month, and the current champion appears to have a great chance of winning again.