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Al Boum Photo wins Willie Mullins his first Cheltenham Gold Cup

• Champion Irish trainer breaks his lengthening hoodoo
• Anibale Fly goes one better than last year in second

With a circuit of Cheltenham still to run here on Friday Willie Mullins’s hopes of filling the infuriating, Gold Cup-shaped hole in his record-breaking career at the Festival were hanging by a thread. Three of his four runners in this season’s race, the latest of more than two dozen Mullins had sent to the start over the years, were already out of the running. Kemboy, the best of them according to the betting, got no further than the first.

Having saddled the runner-up no fewer than six times, Mullins feared the worst. But when he trained his binoculars to Al Boum Photo, the last member of his squad still standing, he quickly realised that 2019 might finally be his year after all.

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