A Plus Tard’s connections are giving the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup serious consideration after his dramatic victory in the Savills Chase at Leopardstown.
The six-year-old was only third jumping the final fence on Monday, but then produced a late burst to collar Kemboy and Melon close home.
That was just the second time Henry de Bromhead’s chaser had tackled three miles over fences – having been put in his place by Delta Work as a novice over slightly further in April last year, albeit racing right-handed at Punchestown.
He has not raced that way round since, and De Bromhead is on record suggesting he will not be tempted to ask him to do so again.
The Gold Cup is over a further two and a half furlongs than A Plus Tard’s Leopardstown win, but it is likely to be the objective after he prevailed through stamina in the Savills Chase.
“It was fantastic and a great ride by the young lad (Darragh O’Keeffe),” said Chris Richardson, managing director of owners Cheveley Park Stud.
“It has given us so many more options now to be able to step up in trip. It was very exciting.
“I thought he was going to be third, and we’d have been happy with that.”
Further discussions are therefore now on the agenda.
“Obviously we will talk to Mr (David) Thompson (Cheveley Park owner) and see what he wants to do – but the Gold Cup would be favourite at this point, I would think,” added Richardson.
“We haven’t spoken about it yet. Now we know he stays three miles, that gives so many more options.
“I’d expect him to have one more run before Cheltenham – but that was very special.”
Cheveley Park also had Allaho in the Grade One, and the Willie Mullins-trained gelding was not disgraced in fourth place.
“Allaho ran OK too. He has just taken a while to get fit this year,” said Richardson.
“Willie is telling me he’s just not quite there yet, but we can build on that.”