History was made on Friday afternoon at Prestbury Park as the Willie Mullins-trained, Paul Townend-ridden and Marie and Joe Donnelly-owned Al Boum Photo joined the illustrious band of back-to-back winners of the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Willie Mullins has had many great days in racing but, as he debriefed the media in a packed winner’s enclosure, it was hard to escape the sense that few meant quite as much to Ireland’s champion trainer as Faugheen’s epic victory in the Flogas Novice Chase on day two of the Dublin Racing Festival.
It’s been another stunning year for the Townends, with Paul reaching Gold Cup nirvana and Jody battling back bravely to the winner’s enclosure after overcoming a broken back. Though little sister won’t easily let big brother forget he missed her big moment in Galway
My ducks, as Nicky English might have said, are drowning. The first three days have gone depressingly badly. I’ve had one or two placed horses here and there but not a single winner, not even anything that ran sufficiently well to lose by a nose or a short head. I cannot hit the woodwork, never mind put the ball over the bar.
Forget about it. Erase it from your memory entirely. No need to ever mention it again. The monkey is off his back forever. After all the near-misses and the talk of the glaring omission from his CV, Willie Mullins has now won the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup. Al Boum Photo and Paul Townend ensured so with an authoritative display in the feature on the final day of the 2019 Festival.