One of the biggest horse racing stars and two-time Gold Cup winner Al Boum Photo seems to be shaping up for a third title this week. The current Gold Cup champ will head for a free gallops these days as his trainer Willie Mullins prepares him for another run at the Cheltenham trophy. The nine-year old horse was triumphant earlier this season at Tramore.
It’s not that big of a race on the calendar, but when you take into account that it was his warm-up for both Gold Cup wins, it puts things into perspective.
Tough Bit of Work Ahead
According to his trainer Mullins, Al Boum Photo is in for a truly tough bit of work before March 19. The road to Cheltenham is never easy, especially for a nine-year old horse. If Al Boum wins the Gold Cup, it will be his third trophy, putting him in elite company with legends such as Best Mate, Arkle, and Cottage Rake.
Trainers, fans, and bookies are well aware of his chances to join that company. Al Boum is the current odds-on leader for the Gold Cup. If you take a look at Sportsbet horse racing odds, you’ll find that he is ahead of second favourite A Plus Tard or his joint runners Minella Indo and Santini.
Competition will surely be tough, but before the Gold Cup, Al Boum Photo has a long way to go. The horse skipped the Dublin Racing Festival where he had a chance to show if he’s fit for Gold Cup glory.
His trainer says that “he’s in great shape” and many experts share his opinion after seeing the legendary horse perform at Tramore.
On the Verge of Greatness
March 19 can’t come soon enough for Al Boum Photo and his team. The horse is literally on the verge of greatness, with Arkle in his sights.
A third Gold Cup will put him in admiring company and an inch closer to Golden Miller who leads the list with five wins.
While that may be a bit of a stretch, if healthy, Al Boum Photo can break the record. He also has another thing on his side – he’s rarely raced just like Best Mate was.
This year’s Gold Cup will not be easy for any horse. Even though Al Boum is the odds-on favourite, he’s set to go up against Santini, Kemboy, and other great horses.
Santini will most likely head to The Grand National this year, and he was agonizingly close to Al Boum Photo last year at Cheltenham.
It will be a tough race, so it’s no wonder that Mullins is trying to push his horse to get him into top form. If he does his best, it could be a record win for both Al Boum and a new accolade for the esteemed trainer.
Most fans and experts believe that Al Boum has what it takes to win a third Gold Cup. A third in a row, mind you. That will make the record even more memorable.
National Hunts are always tough to race for even the best horses. Mullins’ star chaser is properly equipped to hit the ground running, and if he managed to win the Gold Cup again, he will return next year and start the chase after Golden Miller. That will be a feat of legends.