2pts win A Plus Tard @9/2, 15:05 Cheltenham, Friday

3m2½f  (3m2f70y) (New) WellChild Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase (Grade 1) (GBB Race)  (Class 1) (5yo+)

If I would have taken one winner for the whole week it would be A PLUS TARD in the Gold Cup. I was very sweet on him for the Ryanair last season but it rode like a two mile chase and A Plus Tard’s steady and economical jumping lost him ground at the final two fences, and he didn’t have the extra gears to make it back up the hill. All he did was stay, though, and he hit the line just as hard as when he won the novice handicap at the Festival the year before. Staying trips were always on the agenda for this season and, again, all he did was stay in a vintage Savills Chase at Christmas where he got up late to beat subsequent Irish Gold Cup winner Kemboy. The extra two furlongs of the Gold Cup are always an unknown so I cannot be certain he will thrive for them, but all the signs are that he will and his Cheltenham form is excellent. In fact, the longer trip favours his careful jumping style and he won’t fear a strong gallop as he has plenty of pace – he even beat Chacun Pour Soi over two miles. The yard are in fine form and I’ve always loved this horse.

2pts win A Plus Tard @9/2, 15:05 Cheltenham, Friday

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