Willie Mullins claimed his first Cheltenham Gold Cup as Al Boum Photo was a spectacular winner of the Cheltenham Festival showpiece event at odds of 12/1 in an incident-packed race.
Mullins saddled four runners in the blue riband event, but it was Al Boum Photo that was the star of the show as he travelled serenely off the pace for Paul Townend and duly kicked clear up the home straight to beat the staying-on Anibale Fly and Bristol De Mai.
Presenting Percy was sent off the favourite for the event, but the Pat Kelly-trained raider's dream of winning at a third festival failed as having been kept out the back by Davy Russell he failed to pick up and was never in contention as he looked to pick up a third Cheltenham Festival success in as many years.
Last year's champion Native River was unable to get on the speed in the early stages of the race, but while Richard Johnson got him upsides Might Bite in a repeat of last year's dual on the front end he was unable to see out the trip on quicker ground than ideal and was out of the places.
As they turned for home Townend was cruising on board Al Boum Photo and kicked to the front between the last two fences and a fine jump at the last saw him secure his victory, and he went on to beat Anibale Fly by two-and-a-half lengths. The galloping grey Bristol De Mai managed to stay on to pick up third place, but in a relatively shock result it was Mullins and Townend that stole the limelight as Al Boum Photo etched his place in history alongside some of the greats of National Hunt.
2019 Cheltenham Gold Cup Result
1st Al Boum Photo 12/1
2nd Anibale Fly 22/1
3rd Bristol De Mai 18/1