A Plus Tard is predicted to show “laborious to beat” when he defends his crown within the Savills Chase at Leopardstown.
Henry de Bromhead’s cost flew residence to disclaim the reopposing pair of Kemboy and Melon in an exciting renewal of the Grade One characteristic 12 months in the past.
The seven-year-old went on to fill the runner-up spot behind stablemate Minella Indo within the Cheltenham Gold Cup – and is the ante-post favorite to go one higher at Prestbury Park in March following his spectacular return to motion within the Betfair Chase at Haydock final month.
Owned by Cheveley Park Stud, A Plus Tard shall be a heat order to reinforce his claims for the blue riband by making it three from three at Leopardstown on Tuesday.
Cheveley Park director Richard Thompson mentioned: “He beat Chacun Pour Soi over two miles right here two years in the past, he gained this race final season and gained the Betfair Chase final month, so he is build up a helluva CV.
“Everybody noticed what he did at Haydock. I am nonetheless recovering from that, to be trustworthy! If he can repeat that kind of kind he’ll be laborious to beat, is not he?
“He got here with an incredible late run to win this final 12 months and it most likely is not as robust a race this time round – there aren’t as many runners.
“However we have been concerned with horses lengthy sufficient to know you’ll be able to by no means take something as a right, particularly in a steeplechase.”
Kemboy is working within the Savills Chase for the fourth 12 months in succession after successful in 2018, ending fourth in 2019 and being narrowly denied final 12 months.
The nine-year-old is considered one of 4 runners for Willie Mullins together with final 12 months’s third Melon, John Durkan runner-up Janidil and Franco De Port.
“Kemboy and Melon each ran a cracker final 12 months and possibly price each other the race ultimately, however what are you able to do? I might see the place each jockeys have been coming from,” the champion coach informed Racing TV.
“I am questioning what I will do with Melon. He is been second in Cheltenham 4 years working to superb horses in superb races – how can I get him to win?
“We’ll must do one thing completely different. I am toying with the concept of the Stayers’ Hurdle, however I did not put him in any hurdles races! We’ll possibly put him in over hurdles after Christmas. There is a huge one in him someplace.
“Janidil ran a unbelievable race within the John Durkan and I feel going out to a few miles will not be any hurt to him. He did run within the Albert Bartlett as a novice hurdler and we mentioned it may need been too far for him, however these horses get stronger and stamina improves with age.”
Delta Work gained the Savills Chase and the Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown two seasons in the past and is considered one of two main contenders for Gordon Elliott together with Galvin, who was final seen ending second to Frodon at Down Royal.
The enigmatic Samcro is a 3rd Elliott runner.
“I am trying ahead to it, it’ll be a aggressive race but it surely’s good to be properly represented,” mentioned the Cullentra handler.
“Delta Work will come on loads from Down Royal (completed fourth) and he is in good kind.
“Galvin will love the bottom and I although he ran a profession greatest in Down Royal. He is a type of horses that you simply love the whole lot to do with him.
“He runs race day-after-day and needs to please you the entire time, so we’re very fortunate to have him.”