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GOLD CUP DAY NAP: SHAMROCK’S final selection of the Cheltenham Festival. He’s looking for another winning nap after form figures this week of 122.

▪️ Another great day for Irish trained runners.
▪️ Another great day for Rachael Blackmore.

That’s pretty much the cut and paste story for every day of Cheltenham 2021.

The nap Fakir D’oudairies ran well enough yesterday finishing second at 11/2 but was no match for the Blackmore ridden Allaho in the Ryanair.

Elsewhere congratulations to BETDAQ brand ambassador Gavin Cromwell on his Stayers’ Hurdle win with the likeable Flooring Porter (tipped up by DAQMAN, SP 12/1).

The best news of all though was Envoi Allen emerging seemingly unscathed after what looked a horror fall in the opening Marsh Novices’ Chase. Plenty of accas went down at the same time but he’ll be back and hopefully quickly get back in the winning groove.

The meeting draws to a conclusion on Gold Cup Friday.

In the week’s feature event at 3.05pm it’s hardly surprising to see the weight of money for A Plus Tard given the week that Henry De Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore are enjoying.

The seven-year-old has been campaigned at shorter trips but proved his staying prowess in the Savills Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas getting up on the line to beat Kemboy. That seemed to confirm that he’ll be OK over the extra two furlongs here over a much stiffer circuit.

Whether he’s good enough to dethrone Al Boum Photo is another matter entirely though. The Willie Mullins trained runner now looks a spot of value, given the support for A Plus Tard, and is taken to join the immortals by winning a third Gold Cup.

He’s not quite become a ‘public horse’ yet but that may change if he notches up the hat-trick and he has again been campaigned with this being the target.

He was impressive when winning on New Year’s Day at Tramore which was his only race since his win here 12 months ago where he beat Santini by a neck. That rival hasn’t done as well since and I expect the superiority margin to increase between the pair.

NAP: Al Boum Photo (3.05 Cheltenham)

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