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A Plus Tard

It was disappointing on the face of it that A Plus Tard didn’t win the Fortria Chase at Navan on Sunday, given that he was sent off at odds-on, but there is mitigation. For starters, he was only beaten a half a length by Castlegrace Paddy, giving him 2lb, and Castlegrace Paddy is a talented horse who is at his best over two miles on soft ground. As well as that, it was his seasonal debut, and he has been beaten on his seasonal debut now ever year since he arrived in Ireland, including in this race last year. Last year he bounced back and won the Grade 1 two-mile chase at Leopardstown’s Christmas Festival on his next run, but it may be that he will be better over longer trips now.

He was well beaten by Delta Work in the Dooley Insurance Group Champion Novice Chase at the 2019 Punchestown Festival on his only run to date over three miles, but that was going right-handed, he is probably far better going left, and it is no coincidence that he hasn’t gone right-handed since. He won the Close Brothers Chase at Cheltenham last year over two and a half miles as a five-year-old and, out of a mare who won over two and a half miles, Henry de Bromhead has spoken about the possibility of trying him over three miles again at some point. He is better over two and a half miles than he is over two, and there is a chance that he could be even better over three miles now.

Navan, 8th November 2020, © 9th November 2020