A Plus Tard was a brilliant winner of Saturday's Betfair Chase
A Plus Tard was a brilliant winner of Saturday's Betfair Chase

Trainer Henry de Bromhead could have another huge star emerging from his stable as A Plus Tard won the Betfair Chase at a canter at Haydock on Saturday. 

The seven-year-old had not been seen since the Cheltenham Festival 246 days ago when he finished second to stable rival Minella Indo in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. 

Despite the layoff, A Plus Tard showed no signs of rustiness as he was placed in mid-field by jockey Rachael Blackmore

Blackmore allowed Bristol De Mai and Royal Pagaille to set the early tempo, with the former a three-time winner of the race. 

However, Nigel Twiston-Davies' charge failed to show his usual standard over the fences at Haydock, and Blackmore timed her move to perfection. 

She barely had to do anything as A Plus Tard raced away before jumping the second-last, and he coasted to a 22-length victory, with Royal Pagaille claiming second. 

Chatham Street Lad and Clondaw Castle were the only other horses to finish, with Imperial Aura falling, while Bristol De Mai and Waiting Patiently were pulled up. 

His win also gave De Bromhead and his team some history, with A Plus Tard becoming the first Irish-trained winner of the race since its inception in 2005. 

A Plus Tard has now been made the favourite for next year's Cheltenham Gold Cup at Prestbury Park, and De Bromhead says his stable star has a bright future after another mightily impressive display. 

He told reporters: "My heart was in my mouth as normal, but Rachael was brilliant, and obviously A Plus Tard was brilliant as well. 

"This is a fantastic race, it's brilliant to win it and it's brilliant for the Thompsons (of Cheveley Park). 

"After the 10th person told me no Irish horse had ever won it before, I started to wonder why we were here at all, but he's got so much class. 

Henry de Bromhead made history with A Plus Tard's emphatic win
Henry de Bromhead made history with A Plus Tard's emphatic win

"He's won a Grade One over two (miles) and a couple of Grade Ones over three. He's still only seven, so fingers crossed he's got a long career ahead of him. 

"He's achieved a hell of a lot for a horse of his age. He'd been working really well, and everyone was very happy with him. 

"There's a great crowd here, and we always get a great reception." 

There was another impressive performance to savour at Haydock, as Paul Nicholls' Bravemansgame won the Double Daily Rewards With Betfair Graduation Chase. 

The 2022 King George is already on Nicholls' radar after the six-year-old produced a jumping masterclass while tackling fences for the first time. 

Only four horses competed in the race on Saturday, with Itchy Feet, Pay The Piper and Alnadam unable to match the quality of Nicholls' charge.

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