Cheltenham - At The Races

15:30 Cheltenham 15 Mar 2019

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

Winner £351,688 - 16 ran


3m 2f 70y

Good to Soft

View Course Guide

Weighed In

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.

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


0.5 pt win AL BOUM PHOTO (14-1 general NRNB firms)

0.5 pt win SHATTERED LOVE (25-1 general NRNB firms)

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

Previous Winners
Year Going Ran Winner Draw Age Weight OR Form Last run Trainer (Distance) Jockey SP Time
2018 Soft 15 Native River 8 11 10 - 21113-1 34 days C Tizzard (83 miles) R Johnson 5/1 7:02.90
2017 Good 13 Sizing John 7 11 10 - 23-3211 33 days Mrs J Harrington R M Power 7/1 6:36.30
2016 Good 9 Don Cossack 9 11 10 - 1-111F1 64 days G Elliott B J Cooper 9/4 6:34.80
2015 Soft 16 Coneygree 8 11 10 - 113-111 34 days M Bradstock (45 miles) N De Boinville 7/1 6:42.70
2014 Good 13 Lord Windermere 8 11 10 - 231-876 33 days J H Culloty D N Russell 20/1 6:44.50
2013 Soft 9 Bobs Worth 8 11 10 - 11321-1 104 days N Henderson (51 miles) B J Geraghty 11/4 7:04.90
2012 Good 14 Synchronised 9 11 10 - 13-P731 79 days Jonjo O'Neill (1 miles) A P McCoy 8/1 6:36.20
2011 Good 13 Long Run 6 11 10 - 1113-31 62 days N Henderson (51 miles) Mr S Waley-Cohen 7/2 6:29.50
2010 Good 11 Imperial Commander 9 11 10 - 161-P25 83 days N Twiston-Davies (1 miles) P Brennan 7/1 6:43.80
2009 Good to Soft 16 Kauto Star 9 11 10 - 122-1U1 77 days P Nicholls (69 miles) R Walsh 7/4 6:44.95