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Cheltenham Gold Cup Preview : More Glory for Blackmore?

Cheltenham Preview
Last Updated : 14th March, 2022 By Alex M

The best is saved for last at the 2022 Cheltenham festival. Day 4 sees the Cheltenham Gold Cup take place and it's an open race. A Plus Tard is the current favourite and could be another history making ride for jockey Rachael Blackmore.

Historic Win for A Plus Tard?

The 2021 Cheltenham Festival was a memorable one for Rachael Blackmore and trainer Henry de Bromhead. More success could well be on the way at the 2022 festival. A Plus Tard finished second in the Gold Cup last year and bids to go one better this time around.

This contender has already had one win at the festival. In 2019, victory came in the Close Brothers Novices' Chase, a race won by 16 lengths. The following year, A Plus Tard finished third in the Ryanair Chase and then came the 2021 second behind stablemate Minella Indo in the Gold Cup. A Plus Tard was only a length-and-a-quarter behind the winner.

After a break of 246 days, A Plus Tard returned to the track and won the Grade 1 Betfair Chase at Haydock by 22 lengths. The most recent run was a second behind Galvin at Leopardstown being pipped on the post and losing by a short head. 

This is going to be an open race and the odds reflect that. His form is good though, those there are concerns that A Plus Tard should win more regularly considering the undoubted talent possessed. A win here would be the first time the Cheltenham Gold Cup has been won by a female jockey. We know that this horse stays the distance and can cope with the conditions at Cheltenham and we could well see an historic triumph.


Rachael Blackmore had the chance to ride Minella Indo last year but opted for A Plus Tard. The same situation is in place this year but will she be wrong again and will Minella Indo win a second successive Cheltenham Gold Cup for jockey Jack Kennedy?

Minella Indo has only won four out of 11 races over fences. One was a Gold Cup victory so you can't complain too much. Form hasn't been good since the 2021 triumph. October saw Minella Indo finish third in the Ladbrokes Champion Chase at Down Royal. Then came the King George on Boxing Day and the Gold Cup winner was pulled up three out when last. 

The most recent run was an improvement though. Minella Indo came second in the Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown, six-and-a-half lenths behind Conflated. One concern for this runner and A Plus Tard is the current form of the Henry de Bromhead stable with no winners in the past fortnight. Hopefully that luck will change and the recent run is a sign of a return to form and if that is the case, then a second Gold Cup win is a possibility.


Al Boum Photo takes the usual Route to Cheltenham

Not since 1998 when Cool Dawn was the winner, has a ten-year-old won the Gold Cup. Al Boum Photo bids to achieve that feat this year and if he does, it'll be a third Gold Cup in four years. 

Al Boum Photo won this race in 2019 and 2020 and had the same preparation on each occasion. Just the one race that season, a win at Tramore in the New Year's Chase and then off to Cheltenham to win the Gold Cup. That didn't work last year when only finishing third. That route has been travelled on again this season with a four length win over Burrows Saint.

Experience is so helpful in a race of this type and Al Boum Photo has plenty of that. Whether he can win another Gold Cup at the age of ten is questionable. However, his light racing schedule may well counter his age and he could again win the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

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