Minella Indo wins the 2021 Gold Cup at Cheltenham, with odds on favourite Al Boum Photo in third and Rachael Blackmore on A Plus Tard second
Minella Indo is the 2021 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner making Henry de Bromhead the first trainer to win the Champion Hurdle, Champion Chase and Gold Cup in the same year.
The 9/1 chance stayed on strongly to repel the challenge of Rachael Blackmore on A Plus Tard, with Al Boum Photo in third place and being denied successive victories in the prestigious race.
Blackmore has been the star of the week, but Jack Kennedy, on Minella Indo, looked close to tears in the aftermath.
He cut a lone figure on the course when walking back up the track after pulling up on Envoi Allen.
“I can’t believe it,” he screamed.
“This is what I’ve dreamt of since I was in a child. I’m so grateful to Henry for giving me the opportunity to ride him. I can’t thank them enough and I’ll owe them forever.”
Frodon and Bryony Frost made the extended three-and-a-quarter-mile showpiece a true test. With Kemboy and Black Op for company, the Paul Nicholls-trained Frodon put in serious leaps through the early stage, but Nicky Henderson’s hopes were dashed early on with Champ and Santini pulled up.
Al Boum Photo was four and a quarter lengths away in third. Native River, the winner in 2018, was fourth and Frodon ended in fifth.
For De Bromhead, though, he was delighted with the ‘holy trinity’.
“It’s unbelievable. I’m delighted for everybody – all the connections,” he said. “We’ve had so much fun with this guy. He’s just an incredible horse. He comes alive here and he’s amazing.”
Asked to sum up his historic week, he added: “I think I’m still in my hotel on Monday morning when nothing has even started yet – it is a dream.”