A Plus Tard provides Rachael Blackmore with a Festival first

Tue 12 Mar 2019

Rachael Blackmore booted home her first Cheltenham Festival winner as A Plus Tard streaked clear in the Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase.

The 29-year-old is enjoying a fantastic season in Ireland, with her current tally of 84 winners seeing her sitting second in the race to be crowned champion jockey behind Paul Townend.

Carrying the famous colours of Cheveley Park Stud, Blackmore appeared to have strong claims of breaking her Festival duck aboard the Henry de Bromhead-trained A Plus Tard – who beat Arkle winner Duc Des Genievres on his penultimate start and was sent on his way at 5-1 for his handicap debut.

His supporters will have had few concerns for the duration of the two-and-a-half-mile contest, as Blackmore’s mount fenced fluently on the heels of the leaders before moving ominously to the lead racing down the hill.

Once given his head, A Plus Tard shot clear between the final two fences and winged the last to seal a 16-length success.

Joseph O’Brien’s Tower Bridge was second, with Gordon Elliott’s Ben Dundee rounding off an Irish one-two-three.

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