Henry de Bromhead’s training career is synonymous with that of 2011 Champion Chase winner Sizing Europe, who also won many other big races for his trainer and his owner Alan Potts. However, despite that success, Potts decided to move his horses elsewhere at the start of this season. Gigginstown moved quickly to fill those empty boxes though for a trainer who had given them plenty of success with Identity Thief, and that horse and several other potential stable stars mean De Bromhead has much to look forward to with the Cheltenham Festival just around the corner.
De Bromhead has already sent out 56 winners in Ireland this season, and 2 in England, with his chasers returning a healthy level-stakes profits – so let’s take a look at what horses could get him on the scoresheet at the 2017 Cheltenham Festival.
Dual Novice-Chase winner this season who has shown his best form on good to yielding ground, but has still run creditably in defeat behind the likes of Bellshill and stablemate Identity Thief on ground softer than ideal. Yet to run in a handicap over hurdles or fences, and could be interesting if turning-up for one of the novice handicaps at Cheltenham.
Twice a winner at Cheltenham for former trainer Phillip Hobbs, and looked to have been revitalised by De Bromhead when winning a class-1 chase at Tramore on his second start for him. Could be of interest in the Ryan Air Chase, though may be better suited by one of the handicaps if tuning-up at Cheltenham.
This grade-1 winning hurdler started his chasing career with two easy wins, but something went amiss when pulled-up last time when second favourite behind Min. However, this useful hurdler could bounce back in the Irish Arkle of January 29th before taking on the best of the English and Irish challengers in the Arkle at Cheltenham. Sixth in last year’s Champion Hurdle.
Above average juvenile hurdler last season who finished second at both the Aintree and Punchestown Festivals, but seemed to take a giant step forward when beating last’s year’s Champion Hurdle third Nicholls Canyon last time out at Leopardstown. Looks sure to return to Leopardstown to make a bold bid to win the Irish Champion Hurdle before, win or lose, heading to the Champion Hurdle after that.
Transferred from Paul Nicholls at the end of last season and, despite being a 9-year-old, has won 2 of his 3 chases in good style. Fell in between those successes at Cheltenham, but looked to be going better than eventual winner Le Prezien, and it will be interesting to see what handicap mark he gets with one of the two-mile handicap chases in mind.
Usually at his best in the spring, and has finished third in the Champion Chase in both the last two seasons. Unlikely to trouble Douvan but, with that horse likely to scare off plenty of the opposition, the 25/1 currently available could look massive each-way value come the big day, as could the 8/1 for him to win in the “Without Douvan Market”.