Al Boum Photo made history in the Cheltenham Gold Cup winning the race for the second consecutive year. Trainer Willie Mullins watched his horse become the first since Best Mate in 2004 to win a second straight Cheltenham Gold Cup race. Horse racing punters are now turning their attentions to the Cheltenham Festival in 2021. Punters can get great futures odds and bonuses on next year’s race with before wagering on the horse they believe will win.

Al Boum Photo now has the chance to equal Best Mate’s success from over a decade and a half ago. Best Mate won the Cheltenham Gold Cup on three straight occasions in 2002, 2003, and 2004. Next year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup could see Al Boum Photo match the legendary Best Mate but there will be plenty of horses gunning for the top prize at the famous horse racing festival

Townend rides Al Boum Photo to glory

Jockey Paul Townend rode Al Boum Photo to glory in back to back years. While it is often debated just how much influence a jockey has on the horse he or she rides, it cannot be argued that the combination of Al Boum Photo and Townend is a match made in horse racing heaven. 

Townend is Mullins’ preferred jockey and the two combined for four victories earlier in the Cheltenham Festival. The jockey ended the four-day race meeting as the top rider with five victories becoming the top rider at the festival. 

Townend had lady luck on his side throughout the Cheltenham Festival and it was most on display in the JCB Triumph Hurdle. Race leader Goshen unseated rider Jamie Moore at the last hurdle allowing Townend’s charge Burning Victory to gallop into the lead for the win. Goshen had been leading the race without issue but with Moore sent to the turf, Burning Victory and Townend were able to take top prize.

A third Gold Cup is on the cards

Mullins didn’t take long to reveal his plans for 2021. He is aiming for Al Boum Photo to run the Cheltenham Gold Cup once more in a bid to equal Best Mate’s trio of victories from earlier in the century. 

The trainer gave Al Boum Photo a light training regime in the build-up to the Cheltenham Gold Cup 2020. He ran just two races in between the 2019 and 2020 editions of the race. Last May, Al Boum Photo followed up his Gold Cup win with a second-place finish at Punchestown as he lost out to fellow Cheltenham Gold Cup runner Kemboy in the Punchestown Gold Cup. In January, Al Boum Photo won the Savills New Year’s Day Chase by six lengths. It was his only running of the year pre-Cheltenham Festival and it mattered little that more races weren’t entered. 

The preparation has worked in back to back seasons for Mullins and Al Boum Photo, and it very well could work for a third year running. Townend will be back in the saddle at next year’s race meeting and Mullins’ horse will have the chance to make history at the Cheltenham Gold Cup.