Cheltenham - At The Races

Henry de Bromhead Stable Tour

    Knockeen trainer Henry de Bromhead is a regular in the Cheltenham Festival Winner’s Enclosure and here he gives us the inside track on those which could give him more glory at the big meeting in 2019.
  • Friday 01 March 2019
  • Stable Tours

Henry de Bromhead has steadily built his yard up over the last 15 years into one of the leading operations in the Ireland. The legendary Sizing Europe was the one that established de Bromhead on the big-race scene, but since his retirement Henry has kicked on and found a steady stream of Grade 1 performers to represent him at the highest level.

The last three seasons have seen de Bromhead take his performance to all-new levels, having already having smashed his previous seasonal best tally of 68 domestic winners this season.

The Knockeen-based trainer was good enough to talk Kevin Blake of attheraces.com through his team for the 2019 Cheltenham Festival.

Older Horses

A Plus Tard (FR)

  • 5-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Kapgarde - Turboka (Kahyasi)
  • Trained by: H de Bromhead
  • Last Race: Punchestown, 30 Apr 2019 18:40
  • Result: 3/8, chased leaders, closed up 5 out, ridden along approaching 3 out, 3rd approaching straight, 2nd 2 out, soon no impression, dropped to 3rd again and kept on same pace run-in
  • View full form
Form Profile:

A 140-rated chaser, he won a maiden chase at Naas in December prior to finishing second in a Grade 3 novice chase at Punchestown.

Trainer Says:

He seems in really good form. He has been given a rating of 144 in England, so he’ll run in the Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase. I came away a small bit disappointed when he was beaten at Punchestown in receipt of all the allowances last time, but looking back on it, he just seemed to get done for pace around a tight track. I liked how strongly he hit the line and you’d think the stiffer test at Cheltenham would suit him.

Video Form
18 Dec 2018:
24 Nov 2018:

Balko Des Flos (FR)

  • 8-y-o; chestnut gelding
  • Breeding: Balko - Royale Marie (Garde Royale)
  • Trained by: H de Bromhead
  • Last Race: Aintree, 4 Apr 2019 14:50
  • Result: 3/6, went left 1st, prominent, tracked winner after 7th, poised to challenge from 4 out, still every chance 2 out, soon ridden, 2 lengths down when blundered badly last, no chance with winner after, lost 2nd final strides
  • View full form
Form Profile:

A 164-rated chaser, he improved notably last season, winning the Galway Plate and Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

Trainer Says:

He’s in the Ryanair and the Gold Cup. We aren’t sure just yet which one he’ll run in. I was disappointed with him last time, but the ground was just too firm for him. He just about got away with it when he ran well in the John Durkan, but this just hasn’t been a season for him with the ground being so firm. I’d be hopeful he can bounce back to himself on a softer surface.

Video Form
28 Dec 2018:
9 Dec 2018:
3 Nov 2018:
28 Dec 2017:
16 Nov 2017:

Chris's Dream

Form Profile:

A 140-rated hurdler, he has won two of his three starts over fences including a Grade 2 novice chase at Navan in February.

Trainer Says:

I was delighted with his win at Navan last time. The change to more patient tactics really seemed to suit him and his jumping was brilliant. He’s entered in the JLT and the RSA, but he isn’t certain to travel to Cheltenham. There is a three-mile novice chase at Aintree that we think will suit him and could potentially wait for that.

Video Form
8 Dec 2018:
20 Feb 2018:
1 Dec 2017:
16 Nov 2017:
26 Oct 2017:

Cuneo (FR)

  • 7-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Kapgarde - Mefertiti (Epervier Bleu)
  • Trained by: H de Bromhead
  • Last Race: Punchestown, 2 May 2019 18:05
  • Result: 18/23, mid-division early, 11th before 6th where slight mistake, slight mistake next, no impression from before 2 out, soon no extra
  • View full form
Form Profile:

A 134-rated hurdler, he got off the mark over hurdles in a Pertemps Qualifier Handicap Hurdle at Leopardstown’s Christmas meeting.

Trainer Says:

He is in the Pertemps Final and the plan is to run in it. He won a qualifier at Leopardstown’s Christmas meeting and ran well in another one back there at the Dublin Racing Festival. They went steady the last day and the ground was quick enough for him, so a stronger gallop and softer ground would be a help to him at Cheltenham.

Video Form
28 Dec 2018:
9 Dec 2018:
18 Nov 2018:
16 Apr 2018:
23 Mar 2018:

Daybreak Boy

  • 6-y-o; gelding
  • Breeding: Kingsalsa - Aloisi (Kalanisi)
  • Trained by: H de Bromhead
  • Last Race: Killarney, 16 Jul 2019 19:50
  • Result: 13/13, tracked leaders, pushed along from before 4 out, soon lost position, no impression approaching straight, soon no extra, tailed off
  • View full form
Form Profile:

A 138-rated hurdler, he has won two of his last three starts over hurdles including a winner’s hurdle at Clonmel in January.

Trainer Says:

He will run in the Martin Pipe. I thought he improved for the longer trip last time and might have some more improvement in him over that sort of distance.

Video Form
11 Nov 2018:
23 Sep 2018:
18 Jul 2018:
19 Jun 2018:
16 May 2018:

Honeysuckle (GB)

  • 5-y-o; bay mare
  • Breeding: Sulamani - First Royal (Lando)
  • Trained by: H de Bromhead
  • Last Race: Fairyhouse, 21 Apr 2019 14:50
  • Result: Won/16, tracked leaders, 3rd halfway, challenged 4 out, narrow lead after 3 out, pushed out to assert before last, kept on strongly run-in, comfortably
  • View full form
Form Profile:

A 135-rated hurdler, she has won all three of her starts over hurdles including a Grade 3 mares’ novice hurdle at Fairyhouse in January.

Trainer Says:

She seems in great form. At the minute I’d say she is 85% likely to run in the mares’ novices’ hurdle, but it just isn’t set in stone yet. She has other entries in the Ballymore and in the Martin Pipe. She was bought last year after winning a point-to-point at Dromahane and she has been great for us this season. I thought she was particularly good at Fairyhouse last time. They went a real good gallop and she was very strong at the line.

Video Form
22 Dec 2018:
14 Nov 2018:

Mind's Eye

Form Profile:

A 139-rated chaser, he has won one of his five starts over fences and most recently finished a promising fifth in a valuable handicap chase at the Dublin Racing Festival.

Trainer Says:

He has a good few entries and is likely to travel. I’ll discuss it with the lads closer to the time, but I think the Grand Annual might suit him. He ran well in a valuable handicap chase at the Dublin Racing Festival and was just feeling the ground a bit there. He doesn’t want bottomless ground by any means, but he’ll always appreciate an ease in it.

Video Form
26 Dec 2018:
2 Dec 2018:
29 Oct 2018:
9 Oct 2018:
3 Feb 2018:

Minella Indo

  • 6-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Beat Hollow - Carrigeen Lily (Supreme Leader)
  • Trained by: H de Bromhead
  • Last Race: Punchestown, 1 May 2019 17:30
  • Result: Won/12, tracked leader, 2nd halfway, pushed along after 2 out, ridden and headway to lead approaching last, stayed on well run-in
  • View full form
Form Profile:

A winning point-to-pointer, he has run well without winning in both his starts over hurdles including when second in a Grade 3 novice hurdle at Clonmel in February.

Trainer Says:

If he gets into the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle, I’d like to run him in it. He is very laid back at home and probably codded us before his first run back this season as he needed the run more than we thought he would. He ran much better in a Grade 3 novice hurdle at Clonmel after that having had to do all the donkey work. Hopefully he can step up again at Cheltenham. He’s a half-brother to Benatar who I gather is very headstrong, but this fella is the complete opposite, he’s lazy! He’s a real chaser in the making.

Video Form
29 Dec 2018:
28 Apr 2018:

Monalee

Form Profile:

A 161-rated chaser, he won two of his five starts over fences last season including the Flogas Novice Chase at the Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown. He returned to winning ways in the Red Mills Chase at Gowran Park in February.

Trainer Says:

He has got better with each run this season and I thought it was a fine effort to give away 7lb to a horse that was third in the Gold Cup last year to win the Red Mills Chase. He’s entered in the Ryanair and the Gold Cup and we haven’t made a decision yet. If the ground was on the soft side, it would make it an easy decision to go for the Ryanair, but it gets tricky if the ground is quicker. We’ve been in this exact same position with this horse in each of the last two years and have ended up going for the longer race both times and hitting the crossbar, so maybe I need to go for the mid-range race this time! I watched the RSA again only last night and I really don’t think stamina was a problem for him. It’s a very tough decision and we’ll leave it as late as we can. I don’t think he has to lead and if something wanted to lead him at a strong pace, I’d say it would suit him the chase that pace.

Video Form
28 Dec 2018:
3 Nov 2018:
24 Apr 2018:
4 Feb 2018:
29 Dec 2017:

Mormon

Form Profile:

A 133-rated hurdler, he won a maiden hurdle at Tramore in January and finished second in the Pertemps Qualifier at Punchestown in February.

Trainer Says:

He’s entered in the Pertemps Final, but it looks like he might struggle to get in. I’d like to run him in it. Rachael didn’t think he ever really got into a rhythm around the inside track at Punchestown last time and Cheltenham would suit him better.

Video Form
15 Dec 2018:
25 Nov 2018:

Ordinary World

Form Profile:

A 154-rated chaser, he has been a model of consistency in Graded chases since getting off the mark over fences in October 2016, finishing in the frame in multiple Graded chases.

Trainer Says:

He’ll run in the Champion Chase bar the ground is soft. He ran well at Leopardstown last time. That extra furlong always seems to catch him out a little bit there. The better the ground, the better he’ll run.

Video Form
27 Dec 2018:
11 Nov 2018:
6 Oct 2018:
24 Apr 2018:
3 Feb 2018:

Ornua

  • 8-y-o; chestnut gelding
  • Breeding: Mahler - Merry Heart (Broken Hearted)
  • Trained by: H de Bromhead
  • Last Race: Punchestown, 2 May 2019 18:40
  • Result: PU/7, soon led, slight mistake 7th, joined after 4 out, headed 3 out, soon no impression, no extra and not fluent 2 out, soon pulled up
  • View full form
Form Profile:

A 148-rated chaser, he has won three of his seven starts over fences including a Grade 3 novice chase at Roscommon in October.

Trainer Says:

The plan is to run him in the Arkle. After he finished second to Dynamite Dollars at Sandown in December we decided to put him away and train him for the Arkle. His form has been working out well since then. We were a bit worried about the ground at Sandown and I think a sounder surface will suit him.

Video Form
17 Oct 2018:
1 Oct 2018:
2 Aug 2018:
22 Jul 2018:
20 Jun 2018:

Paloma Blue

  • 7-y-o; brown gelding
  • Breeding: Stowaway - Court Leader (Supreme Leader)
  • Trained by: H de Bromhead
  • Last Race: Punchestown, 1 May 2019 16:55
  • Result: 6/8, led, jumped left 3rd, joined briefly 5th, headed after 4 out, prominent when slight mistake next, soon no extra and weakened, tailed off
  • View full form
Form Profile:

A 146-rated chaser, he made it second-time lucky over fences in a maiden chase at Leopardstown’s Christmas meeting.

Trainer Says:

He’s really well. We are having a debate at the minute as to whether to run him in the Arkle or the JLT. If the ground was on the soft side, it would be an easy enough decision to go for the Arkle, but on better ground there is definitely a big discussion to be had. It was a pity we couldn’t run him in the Irish Arkle at the Dublin Racing Festival as that have helped us along in deciding what to do with him trip wise, but we couldn’t run him on that ground. He has done plenty of jumping since his last run and has been away for racecourse schools on a few occasions. His jumping over hurdles wasn’t great at the start of last season, but he warmed into it as he gained experience, so I’m hoping he’ll do the same over fences.

Video Form
27 Dec 2018:
25 Nov 2018:
24 Apr 2018:
4 Feb 2018:
26 Dec 2017:

Petit Mouchoir (FR)

Form Profile:

A 158-rated hurdler, he has returned to hurdling this season and most recently finished third to Apple’s Jade in the Irish Champion Hurdle at the Dublin Racing Festival.

Trainer Says:

I thought he ran well enough in the Irish Champion Hurdle last time, though I had hoped he would run a little bit better. Apple’s Jade was brilliant on the day and made a lot of good horses look ordinary. We have him entered in both the Champion Hurdle and the Stayers’ Hurdle. The obvious option would be to go for the Champion Hurdle given he has run well in the race before, but I’m thinking he might have a better winning chance in the Stayers’ Hurdle. I’m sure he’ll stay further, I’m just not sure how much further. He has never been a fast horse at home. We might just take a punt and run him in it if the O’Leary’s are happy to try it.

Video Form
29 Dec 2018:
26 Apr 2018:
3 Feb 2018:
18 Oct 2017:
29 Jan 2017:

Poker Party (FR)

  • 7-y-o; chestnut gelding
  • Breeding: Gentlewave - Becquarette (Nombre Premier)
  • Trained by: H de Bromhead
  • Last Race: Punchestown, 3 May 2019 16:20
  • Result: 3/12, tracked leaders, 5th when left 3rd 4 out, ridden in 3rd next, moderate 4th 2 out and no impression on leaders, went 3rd close hom
  • View full form
Form Profile:

A 138-rated chaser, he has won his last two starts in novices’ handicap chases at Naas.

Trainer Says:

He’s entered in the Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase, but I’m pretty sure he won’t run as it is just coming a bit quick after his last run. There is a valuable novice handicap chase at the Punchestown Festival and we might aim him for that.

Video Form
29 Dec 2018:
6 Dec 2018:
18 Nov 2018:
29 Oct 2018:
11 Sep 2018:

Sinoria (IRE)

Form Profile:

A 128-rated hurdler, she has won two of her three starts over hurdles including a Listed novice hurdle at Punchestown in February.

Trainer Says:

She is owned by the same man as Honeysuckle, Kenny Alexander, and I think we’ll keep them apart. The Ballymore could be the race for her, but she’s also entered in the Martin Pipe. She’s a half-sister to Minella Rocco and I think she’ll stay well. She did well to overcome the drop back to two miles last time.

Video Form
26 Dec 2018:
24 Nov 2018:

Solomn Grundy (IRE)

Form Profile:

A 139-rated chaser, he remains a maiden over fences, but has run very well in three starts in valuable handicap chases this season

Trainer Says:

He is likely to go for the Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase. He’s been running well in handicap chases all season, but his best run was probably his first one over two-and-a-half miles. While he ran quite well over three-and-a-half miles last time, I’m be happy to step him back in trip for this race.

Video Form
27 Dec 2018:
8 Dec 2018:
15 Apr 2018:
2 Dec 2017:
25 Oct 2017:

Sub Lieutenant

Form Profile:

A 157-rated chaser, he was touched off by Tout Est Permis on his latest start in the Horse & Jockey Hotel Chase at Thurles in January.

Trainer Says:

He finished second in the Ryanair two years ago and will go for it again. He’s been a bit in-and-out this season, but his last run at Thurles was very good. The better the ground, the better he’ll run.

Video Form
3 Nov 2018:
17 Oct 2018:
5 Aug 2018:
1 Aug 2018:
25 Apr 2018: