Star Of The Show

Rachael Blackmore makes history again as A Plus Tard wins Cheltenham Gold Cup

A Plus Tard was sent off the 3/1 favourite.

RACHAEL BLACKMORE AND A Plus Tard claimed the Cheltenham Gold Cup in a thrilling renewal of the Festival’s blue riband event.

jockey-rachael-blackmore-celebrates-with-horse-a-plus-tard-after-winning-the-boodles-cheltenham-gold-cup-chase-during-day-four-of-the-cheltenham-festival-at-cheltenham-racecourse-picture-date-friday Rachael Blackmore celebrates winning with A Plus Tard. Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

The Tipperary jockey made history in winning the prize on Day 4 of the 2022 Festival and making amends after finishing runner-up in last year’s race.

It’s a second successive win for Waterford trainer Henry de Bromhead, who triumphed last year with Minella Indo, the horse that finished second this time around with Robbie Power on board and Protektorat was back in third.

But all the attention will focus on the latest wonderful achievement by Blackmore, who won the Champion Hurdle for the second successive year on Tuesday with Honeysuckle.

Not everything had gone right for A Plus Tard in last year’s Gold Cup when finishing runner-up to Henry de Bromhead-trained stablemate Minella Indo and the queen of jump jockeys felt she had unfinished business, having picked the wrong horse.

So it proved, as the 3-1 favourite left last year’s winner in his wake following a ride timed to perfection.

a-plus-tard-ridden-by-jockey-rachael-blackmore-on-their-way-to-winning-the-boodles-cheltenham-gold-cup-chase-during-day-four-of-the-cheltenham-festival-at-cheltenham-racecourse-picture-date-friday-m A Plus Tard ridden by Rachael Blackmore. Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

Stuck behind a wall of horses turning in, Blackmore was patient and came between Protektorat and dual winner Al Boum Photo to hunt down defending champion Minella Indo, who had four lengths to spare jumping the penultimate fence.

Yet Blackmore, who became the first woman to ride a Gold Cup winner, adding to her two Champion Hurdles and the National, used A Plus Tard’s pace to perfection and she jumped to the front over the last and powered clear.

The easy early pace, set by Asterion Forlonge and Aye Right, certainly helped the eight-year-old, who was going clear at the finish, recording a 15-length success from Minella Indo, with the Dan Skelton-trained Protektorat nosing out Galvin for third, some two and a half lengths behind the runner-up.

Additional reporting by PA

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