Henry De Bromhead completed a one-two in the Gold Cup as Minella Indo, ridden by Jack Kennedy, held off Rachael Blackmore’s A Plus Tard to win the biggest race of this year’s Cheltenham Festival.
Kennedy, who has struggled with injuries, commented after the race to ITV: "I can't believe it! This is what I've dreamt of since I was a child. I'm so grateful to Henry for giving me the opportunity to ride him. I can't thank them enough and I'll owe them forever. This is what I live for. I can't believe this is happening. I'm delighted."
Henry De Bromhead has now trained the winners of the big three races this week, known as ‘the holy trinity’, with victories in the Champion Hurdle, the Champion Chase and the Gold Cup which make up the toughest treble in racing. It continued the domination from De Bromfield and the Irish this week as the 9/1 ride ran well throughout to come home in first.
Al Boum Photo finished third in his attempt to become the second horse ever to win the big race three times as he was battled out of contention on the final corner and Blackmore just couldn’t catch Kennedy despite looking well placed to challenge late on.
The winner of the 2018 race, Native River, kept on trying throughout and even at 11-years-old showed great stamina to come back and finish fourth, meanwhile Frodon and Bryony Frost, who share such a special relationship, ran from the front before fading but made it home safely in fifth.
Champ struggled at the back from the off and was pulled up early on, while Santini and Lostintranslation were also pulled up as the trio struggled over the jumps and were never in contention.
Frodon took the initiative early on alongside Minella Indo with Native River on the inside, while A Plus Tard and Al Boum Photo settled towards the back. Kemboy and Black Op tried to keep pace with Frodon, who jumped incredibly throughout but just ran out of steam in the key moments.
In the final stages, a front three emerged racing side by side as Minella Indo, Frodon and A Plus Tard ran three abreast with Al Boum Photo attempting to make inroads.
Frodon lacked the pace needed up the inside, which left a two-horse and given the form Blackmore has been in this week there was always a hope she would make a late burst, but this wasn’t to be her race. It was a truly fantastic Gold Cup and a huge performance from Kennedy and Minella Indo to round off a historic week for Henry De Bromhead.