64.8 F
June 19, 2024
PI Global Investments

Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning superstar A Plus Tard retires from racing

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  • A Plus Tard, the four-tie Grade One winner with whom Rachael Blackmore secured a historic Cheltenham Gold Cup victory in 2022, has been retired from racing aged 10.

    Cheveley Park Stud’s gelding, trained by Henry de Bromhead, enjoyed his finest sporting hour that day at Prestbury Park – sprinting up the Cheltenham hill to win by 15 lengths. In doing so, Rachael became the first female jockey to win the Cheltenham 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,” said Henry.

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

    The Kapgarde son was the first horse Henry trained for Cheveley Park Stud and the Thompson family. He had won over hurdles in France before he was bought by bloodstock agent Alex Elliott for the stud.

    He won the Close Brothers Novices Handicap at the Cheltenham Festival in his first season running in the Cheveley Park Stud colours. His major wins also included the Grade One Savills Chase at Leopardstown in 2020 and a 22-length victory in the 2021 Betfair Chase at Haydock. Rachael partnered the gelding to five of his six wins for Henry and Cheveley Park Stud, Darragh O’Keeffe the other.

    He will now unwind at Knockeen, then return to Cheveley Park Stud for his retirement.

    Cheveley Park Stud director Richard Thompson said: “My father and I sat down in early 2018 and agreed a plan to buy some National Hunt horses to be trained in Ireland with the aim of winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

    “Just over four years later, we achieved this objective when Rachael Blackmore rode A Plus Tard to victory in front of 70,000 people at the first Cheltenham Festival post Covid. My father watched A Plus Tard win the Savills Chase in a thrilling finish on television on 28 December 2020. He died the very next day. It was the last horse race he ever watched.”

    He added: “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.

    “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 18 March 2022.”

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