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Henry de Bromhead eyeing top UK prize with top star A Plus Tard

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A Plus Tard (black cap) at trainer Henry de Bromhead's stable recently. Photo: John Grossick/Racing Post

A Plus Tard (black cap) at trainer Henry de Bromhead's stable recently. Photo: John Grossick/Racing Post

Henry De Bromhead

Henry De Bromhead

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A Plus Tard (black cap) at trainer Henry de Bromhead's stable recently. Photo: John Grossick/Racing Post

Having conquered the Cheltenham Festival in March with six winners, including a famous Champion Hurdle/Gold Cup double, Henry de Bromhead has his eyes on another big UK prize as he sends A Plus Tard in search of victory in the Betfair Chase.

No Irish runner has landed the Haydock showpiece since its inception in 2005, but the Waterford trainer bids to change that on Saturday with this year’s Gold Cup runner-up kicking off his season in the lucrative Grade One.

With stablemate Minella Indo – which edged him out in the blue riband at the Cotswolds – also primed for the King George on St Stephen’s Day, it also highlights De Bromhead’s thirst to travel across the Irish Sea with many of his stars this season.

A Plus Tard, owned by Cheveley Park Stud, stands between Bristol De Mai and equine history this weekend as Nigel Twiston-Davies’ likeable grey aims to equal the record of the mighty Kauto Star with a quartet of Betfair Chase triumphs.

Bristol De Mai is on course to match that tally having taken top spot under Daryl Jacob in 2017, 2018 and last season and having only faced one Irish-trained rival in previous editions – Outlander was a distant third in 2017 – this is his biggest test to date.

A Plus Tard is one of the most progressive horses in training having taken to staying chases in style to land last year’s Savills Chase and going one better in next year’s Gold Cup is already his long-term target.

Rachael Blackmore will hope that the seven-year-old can add yet another honour to her glittering CV, but competition is stiff with the Venetia Williams-trained Royale Pagaille and Colin Tizzard’s 2018 Gold Cup hero Native River also in the mix.

Paul Nicholls could be represented by Next Destination with Waiting Patiently set to make his first outing for new trainer Christian Williams while Chatham Street Lad could be another Irish hope with Mick Winters pondering a run for the nine-year-old.

Meanwhile, Bob Olinger could also make his eagerly awaited chasing debut at Gowran Park on Saturday after De Bromhead’s six-year-old missed his intended weekend engagement due to a stone bruise.

The brilliant Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle winner was ruled out of his chasing debut at Punchestown due to bruising on the sole of his hoof, but he will not have to wait long for his seasonal reappearance.

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“Bob Olinger just wasn’t 100 per cent, so we said we’d leave him and maybe go to Gowran next week. It’s not a big thing,” De Bromhead said.


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