TWELVE months ago Willie Mullins brought his seemingly endless quest for Gold Cup glory to an end as Al Boum Photo captured the prize in which the trainer had endured so many near misses.

That victory was unquestionably a landmark one but in many way this year’s victory for Al Boum Photo was even more significant. The recent record of Gold Cup winners going back to defend their crown wouldn’t have made for especially positive reading and it says much about Al Boum Photo’s feat that he is the first Irish-trained horse since L’Escargot to go back to back in this race.