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A Plus Tard to skip Leopardstown and go straight to the Gold Cup

  • We bring you the news that A Plus Tard will go straight to the Cheltenham Gold Cup
  • Henry De Bromhead's chaser was last seen winning the Savills Chase over Christmas
  • Cheveley Park's managing director, Chris Richardson announced the move in an interview on Friday
a plus tard
Rachael Blackmore celebrates as she rides A Plus Tard to victory during the Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase. (Getty)

Just when it seemed Willie Mullins had another Savills Chase sewn up, Darragh O'Keeffe came storming home on A Plus Tard, sweeping past Kemboy and Melon on the run to the line.

The former Cheltenham Festival winner had failed to stay on his previous start over three miles. That outing, however, came at the end of his novice campaign, and Henry De Bromhead's charge has clearly strengthened up in the 18 months since.

Having proven he stayed three miles, many thought A Plus Tard would go for the Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown's Dublin Racing Festival. However, speaking to RTE on Friday, Cheveley Park Stud's managing director Chris Richardson revealed their star chaser would head straight to Cheltenham.

"A Plus Tard was very impressive." Richardson said. "It was obviously a step into the unknown, but it has opened up so many more options and one is clearly the Gold Cup."

"I don't think he'll run at the Dublin Racing Festival, I think he'll go straight to Cheltenham for the Gold Cup, as he runs so well fresh. So I think we'll just go there.

"He likes to run left-handed and he likes to run fresh and we're very fortunate to have a selection of special horses."

"He was eye-catching in that performance. It was a bit of a punt to see if he stayed, but occasionally you have got to roll the dice and it worked out a treat. He's very exciting and a serious star in his own right.

"He had a hard race the other day and it wasn't easy, it was a pure test so we don't want to rush him back, we'll be patient and go for the Festival, all being well."

Stablemate Minella Indo, who fell at the beginning of the second circuit in the Savills Chase, heads the 2021 Irish Gold Cup betting. Delta Work will return to defend his crown, while Melon and Kemboy are both likely to take up their entries.

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