By Andrew Atkinson
Irish trained Al Boum Photo ridden by Paul Townend was successful when winning the Magner’s Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase over 3 miles and 2 furlongs on Friday.
“I can’t believe it – the Gold Cup,” said an emotional Townend, who gained victory ahead of Anibal Fly and Bristol De Mai.
“I never dreamt I’d win it. I’m privileged to be riding for Willie Mullins,” said Townend.
“It feels great and I’m delighted for Paul”, said Mullins, after winning his first Cheltenham Gold Cup, with Al Boum Photo being his 64th career win at Cheltenham.
Connections of Irish trainer Joseph O’Brien and Sir Erec were left in tears and shock after the horse suffered a bad injury in The Triumph Hurdle and had to be put down.
“Everyone is devastated. He jumped awkwardly and landed extremely awkwardly, that lead to the fall,” said O’Brien.
Gardens Of Babylon tipped each way by The Leader ran third at 9-1.
Leader each way tip Whiskey Sour (5-1) finished fourth of the 24 runners field in The Randox Health Country Hurdle won by Ch’tibello, to get a place.
The Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle was won by 50-1 outsider Minella Indo, with Commander Of Fleet, tipped by The Leader, running second at 4-1, having been backed down from 15-2.
Richard Hobson trained Shantou Flyer, noted (each way) in The Foxhunters Steeple Chase Challenge Cup by The Leader, ran second at 7-1 in a 24 runners field.
Gordon Elliott trained Dallas des Pictons, tipped in the Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle, finished second at 7-2 in a 24 runners field.
The Leader racing tips finished the 2019 Cheltenham festival with 11 winning selections and a plethora of each way tips, including five placed horses on the final day at Prestbury Park.