Cheltenham - At The Races

15:30 Cheltenham 15 Mar 2019

Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase (Grade 1) (Class 1) (5YO plus)

Winner £351,688 - 36 entered to run


Gary Nutting
by Gary Nutting

Published 6th February

In an open-looking renewal of the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup the prices justify a two-pronged approach and I’m hitching my wagon to a pair of Irish-trained second-season novices.

First up is AL BOUM PHOTO, who was booked for a place in last year’s RSA Chase when falling at the second-last, which admittedly leaves him with ground to make up on that race winner Presenting Percy.

The latter, a smooth winner over hurdles on his recent reappearance, looks the one to beat given his exemplary Festival record, having also landed the previous season’s Pertemps Final in impressive style.

However his odds are prohibitive from an ante-post perspective and I would rather try to dig out a bit of value at this stage.

What I like about Al Boum Photo is he showed no ill-effects from that spill, beating Shattered Love over 2m4f in a Grade 1 at Fairyhouse two and a half weeks later and was in the process of running a massive race back up in trip at Punchestown only to exit in bizarre circumstances at the final fence.

Officially he ran out after jockey Paul Townend steered him round the obstacle thinking it no longer needed to be jumped and the debate rages on as to whether he or the carried-out Finian’s Oscar would have prevailed.

Al Boum Photo looked to have improved again on last month’s reappearance at Tramore, giving 10lb and a decisive beating to stablemate Total Recall.

Either way it’s strong form and Al Boum Photo looked to have improved again on last month’s reappearance at Tramore, giving 10lb and a decisive beating to stablemate Total Recall, the 2017 Hennessy Gold Cup winner, with recent Thyestes Chase winner Invitation Only a fair way back in third.

Willie Mullins also has him in the Ryanair Chase so he’s not a guaranteed runner, but he was a late withdrawal (due to ground) from the Irish Gold Cup at the weekend and his pedigree offers plenty of encouragement he will thrive over 3m-plus.

The case for SHATTERED LOVE centres on her gambled-on romp in last year’s JLT Novices’ Chase, which confirmed her as a high-class mare on her day.

Previously successful in a Grade 1 novice over 3m at Leopardstown, she jumps and stays well and was probably feeling the effects of a long season when disappointing on her final start of the campaign at Punchestown.

Her first two runs this season were very encouraging, finishing second to Snow Falcon on disadvantageous terms at Down Royal and filling the same spot behind Queen Mother Champion Chase runner-up Min at Punchestown, both over 2m4f.

She was conspicuously weak in the market when running no sort of race back up to 3m in the Savills Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas - a performance I’m happy to write off given her overall profile and she remains a fascinating contender in receipt of the 7lb mares’ allowance.

ATR Exclusive Smart Boost: Get Al Boum Photo at 16/1 (NRNB) to win the Gold Cup with Coral (was 12/1).

Get Shattered Love at 33/1 (NRNB) to win the Gold Cup with Coral (was 25/1).

18+. Max bet varies. Win Only. Price subject to fluctuation. Singles only. Restrictions may apply. Limited time only.

Gary's Recommended Bets (scale 1-5 points):


0.5pt each-way AL BOUM PHOTO (14-1 bet 365, Betway, 12-1 Betfred, Coral Ladbrokes, Paddy Power - all NRNB)

0.5pt each-way SHATTERED LOVE (25-1 general with NRNB bookmakers)

Gary provides regular ante-post updates on Twitter. His username is @horsetraderinfo

Previous Winners

Year Winner Trainer Jockey Age/Wt SP
2018Native RiverC L TizzardR Johnson8 11-105/1
2017Sizing JohnMrs J HarringtonR M Power7 11-107/1
2016Don CossackG ElliottB J Cooper9 11-109/4f
2015ConeygreeM BradstockNico de Boinville8 11-107/1
2014Lord WindermereJ H CullotyD N Russell8 11-1020/1
2013Bobs WorthN J HendersonB J Geraghty8 11-1011/4f
2012SynchronisedJonjo O'NeillA P McCoy9 11-108/1
2011Long RunN J HendersonMr S Waley-Cohen6 11-107/2f
2010 Imperial Commander N A Twiston-Davies P J Brennan 9 11-10 7/1
2009 Kauto Star P Nicholls R Walsh 9 11-10 7/4f
2008 Denman P Nicholls S Thomas 8 11-10 9/4
2007 Kauto Star P Nicholls R Walsh 7 11-10 5/4f
2006 War Of Attrition M F Morris C O'Dwyer 7 11-10 15-2
2005 Kicking King T J Taaffe B Geraghty 7 11-10 4-1f
2004 Best Mate Miss H C Knight J Culloty 9 11-10 8-11f
2003 Best Mate Miss H C Knight J Culloty 8 12-0 13-8f
2002 Best Mate Miss H C Knight J Culloty 7 12-0 7-1
2001 No Race
2000 Looks Like Trouble N T Chance R Johnson 8 12-0 9-2
1999 See More Business P F Nicholls M Fitzgerald 9 12-0 16-1
1998 Cool Dawn R H Alner A Thornton 10 12-0 25-1
1997 Mr Mulligan N T Chance A P McCoy 9 12-0 20-1