A Plus Tard wins the Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase in style as Rachael Blackmore rides her first Cheltenham Festival winner
- A Plus Tard glided to victory in the Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase
- The result gave Rachael Blackmore her first Cheltenham Festival winner
- Tower Bridge and Ben Dundee behind A Plus Tard in second and third on Tuesday
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.
A Plus Tard glided to victory in the Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase at Cheltenham
The result gave Rachael Blackmore her first Cheltenham winner in Tuesday’s penultimate race
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.
Blackmore is presented with her trophy by A P McCoy after winning the day’s penultimate race