Over the past couple of years, Irish trainer Henry de Bromhead has proven that he can compete with jump racing’s top trainers, like Willie Mullins, Gordon Elliott and Nicky Henderson. His ever-growing partnership with Rachael Blackmore is a breath of fresh air for the sport, and the female jockey’s multiple victories at the Cheltenham Festival over the last few years goes to show how much of a powerhouse the duo could become.
Last year, de Bromhead equalled his Festival best of two winners, but given the quality of horses that he will be sending to this year’s meeting, he will be more than hopeful of setting a new career record when the horse racing results come rolling in.
So, with the Cheltenham Festival just around the corner, let’s take a look at some of de Bromhead’s best chances of victory at the prestigious meeting. Read on to find out more.
Honeysuckle – Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy
It was aboard Honeysuckle that Blackmore landed yet another Grade 1 Festival winner last year. It was in The David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle that the seven-year-old excelled, beating odds-on favourite Benie Des Dieux by half a length. Unbeaten in her 10-race career, Honeysuckle could face her toughest task yet in the Champion Hurdle, where she is currently the second favourite at 7/1. Another shot at the Mares’ Hurdle is still an option for de Bromhead, and the bookies have Honeysuckle at a much shorter 9/4 to win that race.
Bob Olinger – Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle
Bob Olinger is another horse that Blackmore has built a relationship with. The pair were beaten by a length at Gowran Park last November, in what was Blackmore’s first race in Bob Olinger’s saddle. But they bounced back with a whopping 14-length victory at Navan in December. The six-year-old is the fourth favourite to win the Baring Bingham Novices’ Hurdle on the second day of the Festival, whilst de Bromhead is also weighing up the possibility of competing in Supreme Novices’ Hurdle or the Spa Novices’ Hurdle. However, Bob Olinger is further out at 14/1 and 10/1 for those races.
A Plus Tard – Ryanair Chase
A Plus Tard failed to build upon his massive 16-length victory in the Novices’ Handicap Chase on his Cheltenham debut in 2019 last year. He and Blackmore set off in the Ryanair Chase as the 7/4 favourites, but they ended in third after failing to keep up with the pace set by Min and Saint Calvados up the home straight. This year, A Plus Tard is the third favourite to win the Ryanair Chase at 8/1. However, de Bromhead could instead set his sights on the prestigious Gold Cup, where A Plus Tard is fancied as the joint-second favourite, according to the latest racecards.
Minella Indo – Gold Cup
Minella Indo is another de Bromhead horse who failed to build upon a victory at 2019’s Festival last year. The eight-year-old was a 50/1 shot when Blackmore guided her to victory in the Grade 1 Spa Novices’ Hurdle two years ago. But last year the pair were a length behind Champ in second in the Novices’ Chase. This year, Minella Indo could line-up for a shot at the Gold Cup, and he is currently the joint-second favourite, alongside his stablemate A Plus Tard, at 8/1.
Put The Kettle On – Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase
Put The Kettle On was a big winner at last year’s Festival, as she shocked the field to win the Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices’ Chase as a 16/1 outsider. This year, the seven-year-old’s best chance of victory is in the Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase as 5/1 third favourite. However, de Bromhead could aim for bigger things and opt for the Queen Mother Champion Chase, where Put The Kettle On is a 12/1 outsider. Could there be another upset on the cards?
We’re sure Captain Guinness will also be favoured by the Irish punters in the Arkle. He is the 10/1 fourth favourite, but faces stiff opposition from Allmankind, Envoi Allen and Shishkin.
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