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May 26, 2024
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Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning horse A Plus Tard has retired – The Irish Times


A Plus Tard, winner of the 2022 Cheltenham Gold Cup, has been retired from racing.

Owned by Cheveley Park Stud and trained by Henry de Bromhead, A Plus Tard gave jockey Rachael Blackmore a historic victory in the Prestbury Park feature as she became the first woman to ride the winner of jump racing’s blue riband.

The 10-year-old rocketed to a 15-length success that day, supplementing three previous Grade One wins, including a 22-length verdict in the 2021 Betfair Chase.

However, A Plus Tard has struggled to make his mark since that Gold Cup win, pulling up on two occasions and finishing third at Aintree in April before bowing out when unplaced in the Savills Chase at Leopardstown last month.

Richard Thompson, director of Cheveley Park Stud, paid tribute to the gelding who realised the dream of his late father, David, when winning at Cheltenham.

“A Plus Tard was also the first Cheltenham winner in the red, white and blue Cheveley Park Stud colours and also Rachael Blackmore’s first winner at Cheltenham in the 2019 Listed Close Brothers Novices’ Chase. Rachael rode him to five of his six victories and Darragh O’Keeffe rode him in the other one.

“For all of the above reasons, A Plus Tard will always be a very special horse in the history of my parents’ ownership of Cheveley Park Stud.

“A special thank you to Henry de Bromhead and all the team at Knockeen and to Rachael too. To win the Cheltenham Gold Cup is the Holy Grail of National Hunt racing and we will never forget March 18th, 2022.”

A Plus Tard will remain at De Bromhead’s Knockeen yard in the immediate future before returning to Cheveley Park in Newmarket to enjoy his retirement.

De Bromhead added: “A Plus Tard was our first horse to train for Cheveley Park Stud and the Thompson Family. He was bought from France by Alex Elliot and gave us many memorable days, culminating in the 2022 Gold Cup.

“He was sublime that day, not only visually impressive, but also one of the highest rated winners of the Gold Cup in the last 30 years, as well as being one of the best horses we have ever had in our yard.

“We were delighted when this very special horse won Cheveley Park Stud their first Gold Cup.”

Blackmore was equally fulsome in her praise of A Plus Tard: “He had everything you could ask for in a horse, speed, stamina, really accurate jumper.

“To feel him accelerate like he did after the last in the Gold Cup is a feeling I’ll never forget, I feel so lucky to have been on his back.

“He was incredible and such a special horse to me. He will enjoy a very well-deserved retirement now.”

A Plus Tard bows out the winner of eight of his 23 career starts, with over £957,000 in prize-money.



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