Follow live coverage of the final day of the 2019 Cheltenham Festival where Al Boum Photo won the Gold Cup in a first for trainer Willie Mullins.

Leading at the second-last fence, the 12-1 shot dug deep for jockey Paul Townend, who was also winning the Gold Cup for the first time. Anibale Fly stayed on strongly to finish second, two and a half lengths away, with Bristol De Mai another three and three-quarter lengths back in third.

After six second places, Mullins finally broke his Gold Cup hoodoo. His three other runners - Kemboy, Bellshill and Invitation Only - failed to finish.

We’ll tell you what’s true. You can form your own view.

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Welcome
 
It's finally here...the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
 
It's the most contested prize in National Hunt racing and it is the feature race on the final day of The Festival.
 
Get yourself in the know with all the information on the 16 runners
 
Going update
 
The official going for the final day of the Cheltenham Festival is Good to Soft.
 
Clerk of the Course, Simon Claisse, changed the official going to reflect the weather conditions overnight.
 
"As anticipated, we've had a dry night," he said. "It was quite breezy so we updated the ground this morning at 6am to Good to Soft all round on both the Chase and Hurdle courses.
 
"The outlook for today is mostly dry, there may be a little light drizzle, but breezy, so that ground could well dry out throughout during the day.
 
"It will depend on what rainfall we do have, but i we get as little as is forecast, I think we willl end up with Good to Soft, Good in places at some stage during the afternoon.
 
"We've opened up fresh ground on the Chase course, which is about seven or eight yards all the way round. The ground looks in superb condition for what should be a fantastic afternoon's racing."
Tips
 
Yesterday was a very good day for punters and bookmakers estimate that they lost around £50m after four well-fancied horses delivered.
 
Here's our betting guide for the final day
 
The king of the jungle and the queen of Cheltenham 
 
"It's not not quite sunk in"
Cheltenham Gold Cup
 
Who are we going for in the big one, then? Most punters appear to be venturing into the unknown, here's why.
 
Weather update
 
It's freezing and absolutely pelting it down.
 
It's by far the worst rain we've had this week and that will most probably suit Presenting Percy in the Gold Cup.
Let your personality pick a Gold Cup winner
 
No really, try it.
 
Westwood's picks
 
Golf's Lee Westwood landed £48,200 from a £240 stake on day two at the Cheltenham Festival, so it is no wonder that there is plenty of interest in what he is going for today.
 
 
Sir Erec
 
A lot of people are hoping that Sir Erec can begin the final day with a win, including it's trainer, Joseph O'Brien.

"Obviously he has taken to hurdling well," said O'Brien.

"He ran a nice race first time and improved a good bit to his second run. He'll have to improve again, but we're hopeful he's capable of doing so.

"It's going to be a competitive race - and by far his biggest test so far - and he'll probably have to run a career-best to win it.

"We're very realistic in that sense, but we'd like to think he has a favourite's chance."

 

Weather update
 
The weather has not been the best here in Cheltenham this morning. There's been a consistent fall of light rain throughout the day which may see the going change to Soft at some point.
Barry Geraghty has his say
 
After two wins yesterday, Barry Geraghty is in contention to be this year's Champion Jockey. He has his say on the first race, via his At The Races blog.
 
"My day starts off in the JCB Triumph Hurdle (1.30) on the Joseph O’Brien-trained Gardens Of Babylon. I rode him to finish second to Sir Erec in the Spring Juvenile Hurdle at the Dublin Racing Festival and I thought he was learning as he went that day. 

"He finished off the race well and I’d be hopeful he can come forward from it. The favourite will obviously be tough to beat based on that form, but I think my lad will run well."
 
Non-runners
 
There's three non-runners to take note of today 
On with the first race
 
Sir Erec is a clear favourite to win in this, but there was some slight concern over his fitness after he picked up a stone bruise last Thursday. However, the betting market did not adjust, in fact its odds shortened, which suggests there is nothing to worry about.

The Joseph O’Brien-trained horse has been impressive over hurdles this season, the stamina test will suit him and it should have enough to beat a field not filled with quality.

Quel Destin comes into the race with five consecutive wins behind it, including a Grade 1 win at Chepstow, although the quality of the races does not set it well for this. Paul Nicholls’ other contender, Pic D’Orhy, had decent juvenile form in France and is an unknown quantity on his debut for the new stable.

There will be some reaction at Prestbury Park is Sir Erec delivers as expected.

 

30 minutes until we begin
 
Not long now until Gold Cup day gets underway, get yourself in the mood by watching last year's dramatic race.
 
 
Going update
 
Cheltenham clerk of the course Simon Claisse says that this morning's rain is unlikely to alter today's going.
 
"I think it will keep the ground at good to soft," he said. "I've been saying through the morning if the wind kept blowing we might end up with good in places - but that will probably just hold it where it is now."
JCB Triumph Hurdle latest odds
 
Sir Erec 4/5
Quel Destin 11/2
Gardens of Babylon 17/2
Tiger Tap Tap 10/1
Pic Dorhy 12/1
 
Full odds via Betfair here
Right, the horses are in place and we are just moments away from the off. Good luck!
Sir Erec dismounted before the off
 
Something is not quite right with the favourite. The horses are in place and we will have a slight delay while Sir Erec sorts itself out. That's not a great sight for those that have backed him.
 
The Farrier has been called into action and he is having a shoe looked at.
 
Their usual shoes are replaced last-minute with a light-weight made-to-measure shoe, and this seems to have fallen.
 
Sir Erec has a stone bruise injury last week and this is a concern.
Three minutes after the start time and we are still waiting for Sir Erec to be sorted.

All odds quoted are Betfair. The Betfair Exchange had the best odds on every winner at the Cheltenham Festival last year. Small Details. Big Results at Cheltenham with Betfair.  

Keep up to date with all the latest news with expert comment and analysis from our award-winning writers

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