Cheltenham - At The Races

Henry de Bromhead

    The class of 2017 is Henry de Bromhead’s strongest-ever Cheltenham squad, headed by Ryanair Hurdle and Irish Champion Hurdle hero Petit Mouchoir and bolstered by the likes of Champagne West and Sub Lieutenant.
  • Thursday 23 February 2017
  • Stable Tours

Henry de Bromhead has steadily built his yard up over the last 15 years into one of the leading operations in Ireland. The legendary Sizing Europe, winner of the Arkle Chase and the Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, was a constant presence on the big-race scene for nine of those years, but following the retirement of the great horse, de Bromhead is moving forward in search of his next superstar.

Last season saw de Bromhead finish third in the Irish trainer’s championship with 48 winners, which is almost identical to the tally he secured in the previous two seasons.
He had the disappointment of losing the Alan Potts horses last summer but soon received a significant boost in firepower from Gigginstown House Stud, helping him to secure by far his best-ever seasonal tally of winners and bagging several big races on the way.

Petit Mouchoir has been a flagbearer this term, landing the Ryanair Hurdle and the Irish Champion Hurdle to find himself near the head of the betting for hurdling’s most prestigious prize, the Champion Hurdle, Sub Lieutenant captured the Titanic Belfast Chase and heads for the Ryanair, Irish Arkle winner Some Plan is set for the Cheltenham Festival equivalent and Champagne West’s victory in the Thyestes Chase puts him in the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup picture.

The class of 2017 represents Henry’s strongest-ever squad for the Cheltenham Festival and he was good enough to talk attheraces.com’s Kevin Blake through their prospects.

All Horses

All Hell Let Loose

  • 8-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Shantou - Gan Ainm (Mujadil)
  • Trained by: H de Bromhead
  • Last Race: Limerick, 9 Jul 2017 15:40
  • Result: 4/8, chased leader in 2nd, improved to dispute lead from 7 out, led approaching straight, ridden and headed before 2 out, soon dropped to 4th and no extra
  • View full form
Trainer Says:

He had a bit of a setback last summer, but he’s good now and is entered in the two-and-a-half mile novices’ handicap chase at the Cheltenham Festival. He got a mark of 137 when we asked for it and while he’s lightly raced over fences, I would only be hopeful rather than confident of him being fairly treated.

Video Form
9 Jul 2017:
9 Apr 2017:
30 Mar 2017:
5 Jun 2016:
27 Apr 2016:

Attribution (GB)

Trainer Says:

Not sure if he’ll go to Cheltenham, but at this stage I’d say he’s probably more likely to go for a new two-mile two-furlong novice chase at Thurles on March 25th. Longer term, he could end up in the Ryanair Gold Cup at Fairyhouse.

Video Form
6 Aug 2017:
22 Jul 2017:
16 Apr 2017:
26 Dec 2016:
10 Dec 2016:

Avenir D'une Vie (FR)

Trainer Says:

Unfortunately he had a little setback and won’t be ready in time for the Cheltenham Festival, but the hope would be to have him back in time for the Fairyhouse Easter Festival.

Video Form
28 Apr 2017:
2 Apr 2017:
16 Nov 2016:
27 Apr 2016:
21 Feb 2016:

Balko Des Flos (FR)

  • 6-y-o; chestnut gelding
  • Breeding: Balko - Royale Marie (Garde Royale)
  • Trained by: H de Bromhead
  • Last Race: Galway, 2 Aug 2017 17:35
  • Result: Won/22, tracked leaders, 2nd 2 out, improved to lead at last, soon ridden clear, stayed on well final furlong
  • View full form
Trainer Says:

He’s in great form and is going to run in the JLT Novices’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. I was disappointed with him when he tried him over three miles at Naas and his two runs either side of that over two-mile five-furlongs were much better, so maybe he didn’t quite get home at Naas as he travelled well for a long way. He was only eight lengths or so behind Disko last time, so we’d be hopeful things will go right for him on the day and he can turn it around if he meets him again in the JLT.

Video Form
2 Aug 2017:
28 Apr 2017:
12 Feb 2017:
28 Jan 2017:
1 Jan 2017:

Champagne West

Trainer Says:

He’s in super form and he will go for the Cheltenham Gold Cup. He put up a fantastic performance in the Thyestes last time and based on that I wouldn’t have any great stamina doubts for him in the Gold Cup. He has a good record at the track too which could only encourage you. Tactically, he’ll be ridden wherever he is happy. He’s just a lovely horse to have in the yard.

Video Form
26 Apr 2017:
26 Jan 2017:
1 Jan 2017:
26 Nov 2016:

Gangster (FR)

  • 7-y-o; chestnut gelding
  • Breeding: Green Tune - Dahlia's Krissy (Kris S)
  • Trained by: H de Bromhead
  • Last Race: Naas, 12 Mar 2017 15:45
  • Result: 2/4, tracked leader, 2nd halfway, progress to lead 3 out, ridden and headed when blundered last, no extra run-in
  • View full form
Trainer Says:

I don’t think he’ll run at Cheltenham. He’s likely to run in a two-and-a-half mile Grade 3 novice chase at Naas in a few weeks. I was happy enough with his last run, but maybe he paid the price for taking on Yorkhill. The plan is to keep running him in Graded novice company and if he doesn’t win one, he’ll still have his novice status over fences next season.

Video Form
12 Mar 2017:
22 Jan 2017:
28 Dec 2016:
11 Dec 2016:
27 Apr 2016:

Heron Heights

Trainer Says:

He’s entered in a few different races at Cheltenham including the two-and-a-half mile novices’ handicap chase, the Kim Muir, the Ultima Handicap Chase and the RSA Chase, so he’ll run in one of those. We didn’t have many options for his latest run, so he ended running over a trip that is a bit short for him and I thought he ran well in the circumstances.

Video Form
2 Aug 2017:
9 Jul 2017:
3 Jun 2017:
29 Apr 2017:
11 Feb 2017:

Identity Thief

Trainer Says:

He’s much better in the last few days and is pretty much 100% now. We are running out of time to get another run into him before Cheltenham, but there is a two-mile one-furlong novice chase at Leopardstown on March 5th that might work for him. We won’t make a decision on that until closer to the time.

Video Form
28 Apr 2017:
5 Mar 2017:
29 Jan 2017:
26 Dec 2016:
20 Nov 2016:

Marinero

  • 8-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Presenting - Peggy Maddock (Oscar)
  • Trained by: H de Bromhead
  • Last Race: Kilbeggan, 25 Aug 2017 17:20
  • Result: 5/6, prominent early, soon settled behind leader on outer, briefly disputed lead before 4 out and soon dropped to 2nd, pushed along in 3rd after next and no extra in 4th from 2 out
  • View full form
Trainer Says:

He’s entered in the National Hunt Chase and the RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival and we haven’t made a decision yet on which one he’ll go for. I wouldn’t have any great preference, but he will run in one of them. His form looks good to me and the better the ground, the better he’ll run.

Video Form
25 Aug 2017:
18 Aug 2017:
7 Aug 2017:
2 Aug 2017:
21 Jul 2017:

Monalee

Trainer Says:

He’s in really good form. He’s entered in the Neptune Investment Novices’ Hurdle and the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. There hasn’t been a decision made on which race he’ll go for. Death Duty gave him weight and a beating over two-and-a-half miles at Navan, so it might be best to avoid him, but the trip of the Albert Bartlett would probably suit our fella better than the trip of the Neptune. We’ll wait until we see what the ground is like before we make a decision, but he’s heading in that direction.

Video Form
26 Apr 2017:
2 Feb 2017:
18 Dec 2016:
20 Nov 2016:
29 Apr 2016:

Ordinary World

  • 7-y-o; brown gelding
  • Breeding: Milan - Saucy Present (Presenting)
  • Trained by: H de Bromhead
  • Last Race: Punchestown, 27 Apr 2017 18:40
  • Result: 2/8, prominent, soon chased leaders, slight mistake 4th, closer order 7th, slight mistake 3 out, 2nd approaching straight, kept on same pace from before last
  • View full form
Trainer Says:

We freshened him up after his last run at Christmas and he’s in super form now. The plan is to run in the Arkle at Cheltenham. He jumps really well and is a real case of a horse that is just much better over fences than hurdles. He’s a real two-mile chaser and the better the ground, the better his chance.

Video Form
27 Apr 2017:
26 Dec 2016:
20 Nov 2016:
8 Oct 2016:
26 Apr 2016:

Paloma Blue

  • 5-y-o; brown gelding
  • Breeding: Stowaway - Court Leader (Supreme Leader)
  • Trained by: H de Bromhead
  • Last Race: Punchestown, 26 Apr 2017 18:05
  • Result: 2/7, tracked leader in 2nd throughout, ridden entering straight, no impression on winner 1f out, kept on same pace final furlong
  • View full form
Trainer Says:

He’s a lovely young horse that won his bumper really well. He’s a real chasing type and we are happy to look after him this season. He won’t go to Cheltenham and will probably only have one more run this season, possibly in a winner’s bumper at the Punchestown Festival. He’ll go novice hurdling next season, but the sooner we can get him over a fence the better.

Video Form
26 Apr 2017:
15 Jan 2017:

Petit Mouchoir (FR)

  • 6-y-o; gelding
  • Breeding: Al Namix - Arnette (Denham Red)
  • Trained by: H de Bromhead
  • Last Race: Cheltenham, 14 Mar 2017 15:30
  • Result: 3/11, led, not fluent 4 out, mistake 2 out, driven and headed before last, lost 2nd at hurdle, held in 3rd after, kept on same pace, edged right final 75 yards
  • View full form
Trainer Says:

I’m really happy with him and the plan is to run in the Champion Hurdle. He’s already had a fantastic season and hopefully it will continue over there. The original plan was to go chasing with him this season, but Michael suggested we stay over hurdles and it has proven to be a great idea!

Video Form
29 Jan 2017:
29 Dec 2016:
26 Nov 2016:
4 Nov 2016:
26 Apr 2016:

Sadler's Risk

Trainer Says:

He doesn’t seem to be as good going left-handed, so he’ll skip Cheltenham and could well be aimed at the Irish Grand National.

Video Form
2 Aug 2017:
24 Jun 2017:
31 May 2017:
25 Mar 2017:
5 Nov 2016:

Some Plan

Trainer Says:

He is in super form and will go for the Arkle. He’s just a lovely horse that jumps deadly and bar his fall at Cheltenham he’s had a fantastic season. He obviously had a bit of good fortune in the Irish Arkle and who knows what would have happened if Royal Caviar had stood up? I think Some Plan would have stayed galloping to the line, but Royal Caviar looked to be travelling well, so who knows. Davy Russell tells me it was one of the fastest winning times in that race in many years and while the ground was obviously less testing than it often is, I still thought it was interesting.

Video Form
16 Apr 2017:
29 Jan 2017:
8 Jan 2017:
12 Oct 2016:
10 Nov 2014:

Special Tiara

  • 10-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Kayf Tara - Special Choice (Bob Back)
  • Trained by: H de Bromhead
  • Last Race: Sandown, 29 Apr 2017 15:00
  • Result: 2/4, led, hard pressed after 3 out, headed after next, soon ridden, kept on same pace, no impression with winner after last
  • View full form
Trainer Says:

He’s been a bit unlucky this season. He hated the ground on the two occasions he ran at Cheltenham and I probably wasn’t too clever running him on it last time. In between those runs he won at Kempton albeit in workmanlike style, but I’ve never thought Kempton was his ideal track. He’s in mighty form now though and if the ground comes up good, he’ll put up a bold show.

Video Form
26 Apr 2016:
8 Nov 2015:
9 Nov 2014:

Stellar Notion

Trainer Says:

He’s entered at the Cheltenham Festival, but his main aim will be the Aintree Grand National and he could well go straight there as he has a good record when fresh. He’s been given a mark of 146 and we’re hopeful that he’ll get in off that.

Video Form
13 Sep 2017:
17 Apr 2017:
22 Jan 2017:
27 Dec 2016:
9 Oct 2016:

Sub Lieutenant (IRE)

  • 8-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Brian Boru - Satellite Dancer (Satco)
  • Trained by: H de Bromhead
  • Last Race: Aintree, 7 Apr 2017 15:25
  • Result: 2/9, prominent, led before 9th, headed 11th, led next, ridden and headed 2 out, no impression on winner before last, stayed on, eased close home
  • View full form
Trainer Says:

He’s in mighty form and the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham has been the plan for him all along. He’s already had a great season and hopefully he’ll give a good account of himself. I really think he’s a better horse on better ground, so for his sake I hope it turns up that way.

Video Form
19 Jan 2017:
11 Dec 2016:
5 Nov 2016:
9 Oct 2016:
26 Apr 2016:

Three Stars

  • 7-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Westerner - Hapeney (Saddlers' Hall)
  • Trained by: H de Bromhead
  • Last Race: Listowel, 10 Sep 2017 17:00
  • Result: 3/9, rear, 9th at 9th, headway to 5th at 11th where mistake, under pressure after 3 out, not fluent in moderate 4th 2 out, hampered at last, soon no extra in moderate 3rd
  • View full form
Trainer Says:

He could well run in the Arkle and he’s in really good form. He’s beaten Ball D’Arc twice, which looks alright now and while I was a bit disappointed with him last time, he’d been busy up until then and maybe just needed the freshen up that we’ve now given him. I also think he needs to be ridden aggressively and we didn’t do that on the day. Hopefully he can prove himself to be better than that.

Video Form
10 Sep 2017:
16 Apr 2017:
26 Dec 2016:
10 Dec 2016:
13 Oct 2016:
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