|Friday 11th February 2022|
Al Boum Photo on Course for Historic Cheltenham Treble
Victory in this year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup would be a remarkable achievement but this is no ordinary horse. A two-time winner of one of the most prestigious jump events in the world, Al Boum Photo missed out on a hat trick last year but could he complete the treble this time around?
There is plenty of competition but Al Boum Photo is maintaining some serious form. He’s already made history in 2022 with a fourth straight success in the New Year’s Day Chase and, while the odds for Cheltenham are against the Willie Mullins trained horse, few will rule him out.
Primed and Ready
With two successive wins in 2019 and 2020, Al Boum Photo was the favourite to claim a third Gold Cup success last year. Willie Mullins’ entry looked strong and set to join an elite list of horses who had taken the trophy on three separate occasions.
It wasn’t to be as Minella Indo finished in first place with Al Boum Photo trailing in third. As the years began to advance, some felt that the horse would not return for another crack at this top class Group One event.
Rest and recuperation may have been the initial requirements following that defeat in March but Al Boum Photo was quickly back in action. In April of 2021, he finished in second place at Punchestown behind Clan Des Obeaux.
2022 has started on a more positive note with that victory in the Savills New Year Stakes. As the 1/6 favourite, there wasn’t too much of a challenge from within the field but it was an almost perfect run, with just a small mistake at the final fence.
Mullins was succinct with his assessment after the race: ‘Mission Accomplished’ was his verdict as he began to look ahead to the Cheltenham Gold Cup with added confidence.
Checking out the Competition
The betting market for the winner of the Cheltenham Festival is one of those that stays in place for most of the calendar year. With just under two months to go until the 2022 renewal, the best sportsbooks as sourced by Sbo.net already have a packed set of odds to consider.
The ante post favourite for the Cheltenham Gold Cup is A Plus Tard who is quoted at 3/1 in most places. Next up is Galvin followed by Minella Indo and Protektorat. The fifth favourite is Al Boum Photo who slots in at a relatively distant 10/1.
As the race draws closer, the declaration will be complete and the market has the capacity to change. Any updates in the betting will be shown by SBO and conveyed to their readers. Whilst on the site, those visitors can access a host of horse racing information and it’s also possible to stake in the markets.
Each bookmaker is ready to take on new account holders with many issuing generous welcome offers in exchange for signing up. A choice of deposit and withdrawal options, together with an extensive set of markets for the Cheltenham Festival will also be on the table.
Based on that New Year’s Day outing, there will be some interest in Al Boum Photo but are the indicators pointing towards a historic Gold Cup treble?
Trends and Indicators
The form is there but the trends aren’t exactly pointing to a Gold Cup win for Al Boum Photo. Firstly, we have to go back to 1998 to find the last time that a ten year old claimed the most prestigious event of the Cheltenham Festival.
Cool Dawn claimed the honours that year while another ten-year-old, Cool Ground, took the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 1992.
In terms of claiming a Gold Cup treble, the last time that this was achieved was by Best Mate who won three consecutive races between 2002 and 2004. Only six horses have won the race on more than one occasion so this would be a rare feat even if it’s not a unique achievement.
Anyone looking to get behind Al Boum Photo should probably ignore those indicators and focus solely on form. Trends are there to be broken and few would be willing to rule out this remarkable horse.