Rachael Blackmore to defend crown on A Plus Tard despite ‘less than ideal preparation’

The Gold Cup is one of the biggest races of the year and it will take centre stage at the Cheltenham Festival once again this afternoon.

Rachael Blackmore became the first female jockey ever to win the race last year as she rode A Plus Tard to victory for trainer Henry De Bromhead. 

AFP

Rachael Blackmore won the Gold Cup on A Plus Tard last year

Blackmore is set to take the reins again this year but will face a tough task to go back-to-back, with Galopin Des Champs the huge favourite. 

“I’m really looking forward to riding A Plus Tard again in the Gold Cup,” Blackmore told Betfair.

“Last year was magic. To go so close on him in 2021, then to go back last year and for him to win it like he did, it was unbelievable. He found another gear up the run-in.

“Obviously, he has not had the most ideal preparation and you’d love to be coming to Cheltenham with a win under his belt.

“But, that’s the way it is. His work has been good recently, he seems in really good form. David Roche rides him at home and he’s happy with him so he goes there with as good a chance as any. It is very cool to be coming back on the reigning Gold Cup winner.

“He is an exceptional horse and we hope he goes well on Friday.

“He’s all good, I rode him out [on Thursday] morning and he’s in great form so I am really looking forward to riding him. He should definitely run a big race.”

Bravemansgame and 2022 Grand National winner Noble Yeats are both also among the frontrunners for this year’s showpiece, while Blackmore to finish in the top three on A Plus Tard at 3:30 was Evens but is now 2/1 with Betfair.

Blackmore will hope to make it another Gold Cup victory

Getty

Blackmore will hope to make it another Gold Cup victory


Gold Cup 2023: Date and start time 

Cheltenham Festival will reach its climax on Friday, March 17. 

Racing gets underway at 1:30pm with the Gold Cup being the fourth of the seven races on the final day of the festival. 

The showpiece race will begin at 3:30pm. 

Gold Cup 2023: How to follow 

talkSPORT will be providing live coverage of Cheltenham once again this year.

Rupert Bell and Lizzie Kelly will have full commentary of the Gold Cup.

To tune in to talkSPORT or talkSPORT 2 through the website, click HERE for the live stream.

You can also listen via the talkSPORT app, on DAB digital radio, through your smart speaker and on 1089 or 1053 AM.

The action will also be shown on free-to-air television and will be live on ITV.

Gold Cup 2023: Race schedule

Cheltenham Day Four (Friday, March 17)

  • 13:30 – Triumph Hurdle
  • 14:10 – County Hurdle
  • 14:50 – Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle
  • 15:30 – Gold Cup
  • 16:10 – Foxhunter Steeple Chase
  • 16:50 – Mares’ Chase
  • 17:30 – Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

The Gold Cup is the showpiece of the Cheltenham Festival

AFP

The Gold Cup is the showpiece of the Cheltenham Festival

Gold Cup 2023: Runners and riders

Here’s the entry list and current odds for the big race.

  • 15-8 Galopin Des Champs, Paul Townend
  • 13-2 Bravemansgame, Harry Cobden
  • 8-1 Noble Yeats, Sean Bowen
  • 8-1 A Plus Tard, Rachael Blackmore
  • 9-1 Stattler, P W Mullins
  • 14-1 Conflated, Davy Russell
  • 14- 1 Protektorat, Harry Skelton
  • 16-1 Ahoy Senor, Derek Fox
  • 22-1 Minella Indo, Mark Walsh
  • 22-1 Sounds Russian, Sean Quinlan
  • 25-1 Hewick, Jordan Gainford
  • 50-1 Royalle Pagaille, Charlie Deutsch
  • 125-1 Eldorado Allen, Brendan Powell

Galopin Des Champs is the favourite to win this year’s Gold Cup

GETTY

Galopin Des Champs is the favourite to win this year’s Gold Cup

Gold Cup 2023: Previous winners 

  • 2022- A Plus Tard (Trainer: De Bromhead – Jockey: Blackmore)
  • 2021 – Minella Indo (Trainer: De Bromhead – Jockey: Kennedy)
  • 2020 – Al Boum Photo (Trainer: Mullins – Jockey: Townend)
  • 2019 – Al Boum Photo (Trainer: Mullins – Jockey: Townend)
  • 2018 – Native River (Trainer: Tizzard – Jockey: Johnson)
  • 2017 – Sizing John (Trainer: Harrington – Jockey: Power)
  • 2016 – Don Cossack (Trainer: Elliott – Jockey: Cooper)

Gold Cup 2023: Betting tips 

You can get all the latest betting tips and free bet offers for the Cheltenham Festival HERE

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