Cheltenham Festival EQUESTRIAN Horse Racing

Gold Cup 2021: Minella Indo goes down in Cheltenham Festival legend for Henry de Bromhead

Minella Indo won the 2021 Gold Cup at Cheltenham Festival for Jack Kennedy and trainer Henry de Bromhead.

The 8-year-old fought off a valiant effort from A Plus Tard and Rachael Blackmore to win by 1 1/4 length.

Favourite and winner of the two previous Gold Cups, Al Boum Photo, never mounted a close challenge for a third successive crown and came third, whilst 2018 champion Native River came fourth.

It’s de Bromhead’s fifth winner of the festival and a one-two for the Irishman, as he becomes the first trainer to win the Champion Hurdle, Champion Chase and Gold Cup in one festival.

“I can’t believe it, this is what I’ve dreamt of since I was in a child. I’m so grateful to Henry for giving me the opportunity to ride him,” said an emotional Kennedy.

“I can’t thank them enough and I’ll owe them forever.”

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After falling out of yesterday’s Marsh Novice Chase on overwhelming favourite Envoi Allen, 21-year-old Kennedy was understandably thrilled: “This is what I live for. I can’t believe this is happening. I’m delighted.”

Minella Indo raced near the front for the vast majority but it was Bryony Frost and Frodon who looked very strong early on, after Champ and Santini struggled with their jumping and were forced to pull up.

Despite a good start Lostintranslation soon followed, leaving Al Boum Photo and A Plus Tard with ounces of expectation on their shoulders to push on, and Blackmore eyeing up a first Gold Cup triumph for a female.

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However Mullins’ two-time winner ran a lacklustre final three furlongs and A Plus Tard couldn’t make up the gap to Minella Indo, who stormed home with odds of 9/1.

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