A Plus Tard sends out a Gold Cup message with slick Haydock win
A Plus Tard made a stunning return to action with a comprehensive victory in the Betfair Chase at Haydock.
A close second to stablemate Minella Indo in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March, the Henry de Bromhead-trained runner was the 11-10 favourite to make a victorious reappearance on Merseyside.
Ridden with supreme confidence by Rachael Blackmore, A Plus Tard settled well off the early pace set by Bristol De Mai and Royale Pagaille and was still cantering in behind as the race really began with four to jump.
Bristol De Mai, a three-times race winner, was the first to really give way, with A Plus Tard making effortless ground to come upsides Royale Pagaille and assume control with the minimum of fuss.
Blackmore barely had to move as A Plus Tard kicked on approaching the second-last, clearing the final obstacle in style to coast home by 22 lengths from Royale Pagaille.
Chatham Street Lad and Clondaw Castle were the only other finishers, with Imperial Aura falling at the 13the fence and Bristol De Mai and Waiting Patiently both pulled up.
Coral, Betfair and Paddy Power all make A Plus Tard the 4-1 favourite to go one place better in the 2022 Gold Cup. (Copy from The Irish Times). Photo from Simon Marper