Rachael Blackmore and A Plus Tard have won the Gold Cup after chasing down Minella Indo and taking the lead over the final furlong. The Queen of Cheltenham learnt from her mistakes in this race last year, where she failed to overhaul Minella Indo, and this time managed to get past him and secure a huge victory.
It was the Henry De Bromhead duo that charged towards the finishing post together, but after A Plus Tard flew over the final fence, there was only ever going to be one winner. Blackmore turned the afterburners on to win by several lengths, and finally she has got her hands on the big one. Last year it was A Plus Tard who conceded to Minella Indo, but this time the result was reversed.
But it wasn’t a simple race. She had to remain patient until the race hotted up.
Tornado Flyer was the first to show down the inside as Asterion Forlonge then moved into the way. Santini moved up to take a good position, as Asterion Forlonge jumped right with 19 fences to go, while outsider Aye Right was also moved up into a good position and took the lead with 14 fences to go.
Royalle Pagaille then took his turn to put the pressure on as he moved forward to the front three. Chantry House struggled at the back of the pack before being pulled up as the crowd cheered them on their final circuit.
It was tight. There were only 8-10 lengths covering the whole field with eight fences to go. With six to go, Al Boum Photo began to move through the field while Asterion Forlonge led the way moving around the corner.
Minella Indo then made a big move to the front with three to go and was in a prime position to strike as he got himself in great contention but on the home straight, A Plus Tard came into the picture for the very first time.
There was a crowd in front of her as he came up the hill but Rachael Blackmore, who came second in this race last year, managed to find the space she needed. This time, she managed to time her chase on Minella Indo to perfection and over the final fence, he raced away from his rival and charged to the line.
A Plus Tard and Rachael Blackmore. Gold Cup winners.
Gold Cup results
1st - A Plus Tard (3/1 fav)
2nd - Minella Indo (7/1)
3rd - Protektorat (10/1)