Rachael Blackmore is set to ride A Plus Tard in the WellChild Cheltenham Gold Cup, trainer Henry de Bromhead has revealed, with Jack Kennedy on his other runner, Minella Indo.
Blackmore partnered A Plus Tard to victory in the Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase at the Festival in 2019 and when third in the Ryanair Chase last year.
However, Darragh O’Keeffe was on board when A Plus Tard registered his biggest success so far, in the Savills Chase at Leopardstown in December.
On that occasion, Blackmore rode Minella Indo, who fell for the first time in his career when sent off the 5-2 favourite.
De Bromhead said: “A Plus Tard was really good in the Savills Chase at Christmas. I am delighted with him. He had a hard enough race there so we decided to put him away for this.
“At the moment, Rachel is going to ride A Plus Tard and Jack Kennedy is going to ride Minella Indo.”
De Bromhead reports Minella Indo, who was dramatically caught close home by Champ in the RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase at last year’s Festival, to be in good shape after finishing fourth to Kemboy in last month’s Irish Gold Cup.
“He is in mighty form now and loves Cheltenham – he comes alive over there and his record is brilliant,” he said.
“He has a real live chance. It was tough to get nabbed like he was last year by Champ, but that’s Cheltenham – these things happen and there is always drama.”