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2022 Cheltenham Festival: Rachael Blackmore becomes first female jockey to win Gold Cup on A Plus Tard

Rachael Blackmore won the Cheltenham Gold Cup on A Plus Tard after overtaking Minella Indo in the final two fences.

Asterion Forlonge was the early leader, with Santini and Aye Right.

Minella Indo came through with three fences to go, but the defending champion couldn’t hold on and A Plus Tard took the victory by a significant margin.

Minella Indo did hang onto second, with Protektorat, trained by legendary football manager Sir Alex Ferguson, finishing third.

The horse trained by Henry De Bromhead went into the race as the 5/2 favourite, and lived up to that tag to take a first win at Cheltenham.

Blackmore, who was the best jockey of 2021 at Cheltenham, had been overshadowed slightly so far this week, but regained her brilliance with a comfortable victory in the end.

She said: “I just can’t believe it. I am so lucky to be able to ride all these good horses. You just can’t do this without the horses. Being attached to Henry is just utterly phenomenal. This horse is just unbelievable.

“I wouldn’t swap the Grand National for anything but this is the Gold Cup. I wish I had something better to say right now. You have all these plans about how things are going to work out and racing doesn’t let that happen all the time, but for some reason it’s happened to me today.”

Despite being the only two previous winners in the 11-horse field, Minella Indo and Al Boum Photo went into the race as joint-third favourites, behind A Plus Tard and Galvin.

Willie Mullins had trained all three previous winning horses on Friday, but couldn’t succeed in the big one, neither could Paul Townend, the most successful jockey of the Festival so far.

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