Best season means strong de Bromhead team for The Festival

Henry de Bromhead today discussed some of his leading contenders for The Festival, headed by impressive Thyestes Chase winner Champagne West and Stan James Champion Hurdle hope Petit Mouchoir.
The Irish handler has sent out three winners at The Festival, notably Sizing Europe in the 2011 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase, and is enjoying his best ever season since taking out a licence in 1999.
“We have been very fortunate this season,” said de Bromhead. “We have got some very nice horses and we are very lucky to be in the position we are in at the moment.
“Hopefully, we can get the horses to The Festival at the top of their game.
“I would say we will have between 10 and 12 runners for The Festival. Looking at the logistics, the runners for the first part of the week will leave Saturday night or Sunday morning.”
Please see the trainer’s comments below:-
Champagne West (Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup): ”Our lad has done very little wrong this year. He won well at Tramore and then went on to win the Thyestes off 154, which was very impressive. It’s not easy to do that in a top handicap.
“He has gone up to 166 now. We will take our chance and see how we go. He has good form around Cheltenham. There is still a little question mark about his jumping. He made a little mistake five out in Gowran. But other than that, he has been pretty good.
“The Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup is very open this year, especially when you see how closely rated they all are. It is very competitive.”
Monalee: ”Monalee is in the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle and the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle.
“He won well in Clonmel over three miles, having been beaten by Death Duty over two and a half. Three miles in the Albert Bartlett would probably suit him better but do you want to be taking on a horse who has already beaten you giving you weight?
“He is by Milan and I actually think he will be better on better ground. He was beaten in a point-to-point bumper at Gowran last year on heavy. I could not wait to get him on good ground and then he ran really well at Punchestown on spring festival ground.
“He is in great form and a very nice young horse. Whatever he does this year will be a bonus.”
Petit Mouchoir (Stan James Champion Hurdle): “Petit Mouchoir has won his last two at Leopardstown. He has done nothing wrong, bar falling at Newcastle. It was a bit disappointing but he looked to be going well and he then confirmed at Leopardstown over Christmas what we had hoped he might have done at Newcastle.
“He has since come out and won the Irish Champion Hurdle. He has had a fantastic season already.
“I would never be overly confident, but he is in good form and I would be hoping for a good run.”
Racing Post Arkle Novices’ Chase: “Altior was hugely impressive the other day and has been all season. He is going to be very hard to beat.
“We could end up running three in the race - Some Plan who won the Irish Arkle, Three Stars who won a G3 at Punchestown and was just beaten in another G3, and Ordinary World who was second to Min on ground he would not have been mad about.
“They are all pretty similar on the form they have shown so far. I suppose for all of them, the better the ground, the better their chance.
“I hate going in with that train of thought [running to finish second]. Ratings tell you it is going to be tough, but I want to win.”
Special Tiara (Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase): ”Special Tiara is in mighty form. He has had two runs on ground he would have hated this season, but he won nicely on good ground in Kempton.
“He loves the game and has been third in the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase for the last two years. I still don’t know how he wasn’t second last year!”
 
Sub Lieutenant (Ryanair Chase): ”Sub Lieutenant has had a great year. He won at Limerick and then won the G2 at Down Royal when beating Outlander and getting a little bit of weight. He was then third to Djakadam and Outlander off level weights in the John Durkan. Last time out, he ran very well behind Sizing John at Thurles in the Kinloch Brae.
“I think his form is pretty good and the better the ground, the better he will run. I would be hoping for a good run.”
Henry de Bromhead (County Waterford, Ireland)
Born - October 28, 1972
Background - The son of former farmer and trainer Harry de Bromhead, Henry initially trained to be an accountant but left college after realising that this career was not for him. He took a job at Coolmore Stud and worked with Robert Alner in Dorset, as well as with his father and others, before joining Sir Mark Prescott’s Newmarket yard. He also worked at Tattersalls for three months before returning to Coolmore Stud in 1998.
After his father had been incapacitated by a stroke in 1999, he took over the reins at the Co Waterford yard and sent out his first winner with his first runner when Fidalus won at Tramore on New Year’s Day in 2000.
He was propelled into the big time by Sizing Europe, one of 14 horses bought by Ann & Alan Potts in the summer of 2005. The son of Pistolet Bleu won the Irish Champion Hurdle in January, 2008, before embarking on a chasing campaign which saw him progress into one of the best two-milers of his generation with back-to-back to victories at The Festival in the Racing Post Arkle Novices’ Chase and Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase.
The Potts removed their horses in August, 2016, but, thanks to increased support from Gigginstown House Stud and Roger Brookhouse among others, de Bromhead is enjoying his best season in Ireland to date (62 winners, €1,358,703 prize money – as of February 24).
De Bromhead, married to Heather and based at Knockeen, Co Waterford, is set to send his strongest team to The Festival in 2017.
First winner - Fidalus, Tramore, January 1, 2000
Cheltenham Festival wins (3)
2010 – Racing Post Arkle Novices’ Chase (Sizing Europe)
2011 – Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (Sizing Europe)
2011 – Glenfarclas Cross-Country Chase (Sizing Australia)
Other major wins include
Celebration Chase (2015 Special Tiara)
Fighting Fifth Hurdle (2015 Identity Thief)
Galway Plate (2015 Shanahan’s Turn)
Irish Champion Hurdle (2008 Sizing Europe, 2017 Petit Mouchoir)
Punchestown Champion Chase (2012 & 2014 Sizing Europe)
Tingle Creek Chase (2011 Sizing Europe)
Henry de Bromhead’s entries for The Festival
 
CHAMPION DAY – TUESDAY, MARCH 14 (OLD COURSE)
1.30pm £125,000 Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m ½f
Capital Force
2.10pm £175,000 Racing Post Arkle Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) 2m
Attribution, Identity Thief, Ordinary World, Some Plan, Three Stars
2.50pm £105,000 Ultima Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 3m 1f
Heron Heights, Marinero, Stellar Notion
3.30pm £400,000 Stan James Champion Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m ½f
Petit Mouchoir
4.10pm £110,000 OLBG Mares’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 4f
No entries
4.50pm £120,000 J T McNamara National Hunt Chase (Novices) (Amateurs) (Grade 2) 4m
Marinero
5.30pm £70,000 Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase (0-140) (Listed) 2m 4½f
All Hell Let Loose, Deans Road, Gangster, Heron Heights, Killiney Court
LADIES DAY – WEDNESDAY, MARCH 15 (OLD COURSE & CROSS COUNTRY)
1.30pm £125,000 Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 5f
Black Key, Monalee
2.10pm £175,000 RSA Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) 3m ½f
All Hell Let Loose, Balko des Flos, Heron Heights, Marinero
2.50pm £95,000 Coral Cup (Handicap Hurdle) (Grade 3) 2m 5f
Black Key, Peace News
3.30pm £350,000 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (Grade 1) 2m
Alisier d’Irlande. Special Tiara
4.10pm £65,000 Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase 3m 6f
Entries close February 28
4.50pm £80,000 Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m ½f
No entries
5.30pm £75,000 Weatherbys Champion Bumper (Grade 1) 2m ½f
Entries close February 28
ST PATRICK’S THURSDAY – THURSDAY, MARCH 16 (NEW COURSE)
1.30pm £150,000 JLT Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) 2m 4f
All Hell Let Loose, Attribution, Balko des Flos, Identity Thief
2.10pm £95,000 Pertemps Network Final (Handicap Hurdle) (Listed) 3m
No entries
2.50pm £300,000 Ryanair Chase (Grade 1) 2m 5f
Sub Lieutenant
3.30pm £300,000 Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 3m
No entries
4.10pm £105,000 Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate (Handicap Chase) (Grade 3) 2m 5f
Balko des Flos, Stellar Notion
 
4.50pm £80,000 Trull House Stud Mares Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2) 2m 1f
Entries close February 28
5.30pm £70,000 Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase (Amateurs) (0-145) 3m 2f
Full Cry, Heron Heights
GOLD CUP DAY – FRIDAY, MARCH 17 (NEW COURSE)
1.30pm £125,000 JCB Triumph Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 1f 125,000
No entries
2.10pm £95,000 Randox Health County Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m 1f
Peace News
2.50pm £125,000 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 3m
Black Key, Monalee, Peace News
3.30pm £575,000 Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase (Grade 1) 3m 2½f
Champagne West, Sub Lieutenant
4.10pm £45,000 St James’s Place Foxhunter Chase 3m 2½f
Entries close February 28
4.50pm £65,000 Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (0-145) 2m 4½f
Black Key, Peace News
5.30pm £105,000 Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 2m ½f
Alisier d’Irlande, Three Stars
 
The Festival 2017 – Order of Running
 
Champion Day – Tuesday, March 14 (Old Course)
1.30pm £125,000 Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m ½f
2.10pm £175,000 Racing Post Arkle Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) 2m
2.50pm £105,000 Ultima Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 3m 1f
3.30pm £400,000 Stan James Champion Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m ½f
4.10pm £110,000 OLBG Mares’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 4f
4.50pm £120,000 J T McNamara National Hunt Chase (Novices) (Amateurs) (Grade 2) 4m
5.30pm £70,000 Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase (0-140) (Listed) 2m 4½f
Ladies Day – Wednesday, March 15 (Old Course & Cross Country)
1.30pm £125,000 Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 5f
2.10pm £175,000 RSA Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) 3m ½f
2.50pm £95,000 Coral Cup (Handicap Hurdle) (Grade 3) 2m 5f
3.30pm £350,000 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (Grade 1) 2m
4.10pm £65,000 Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase 3m 6f
4.50pm £80,000 Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m ½f
5.30pm £75,000 Weatherbys Champion Bumper (Grade 1) 2m ½f
St Patrick’s Thursday – Thursday, March 16 (New Course)
1.30pm £150,000 JLT Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) 2m 4f
2.10pm £95,000 Pertemps Network Final (Handicap Hurdle) (Listed) 3m
2.50pm £300,000 Ryanair Chase (Grade 1) 2m 5f
3.30pm £300,000 Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 3m
4.10pm £105,000 Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate (Handicap Chase) (Grade 3) 2m 5f
4.50pm £80,000 Trull House Stud Mares Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2) 2m 1f
5.30pm £70,000 Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase (Amateurs) (0-145) 3m 2f
Gold Cup Day – Friday, March 17 (New Course)
1.30pm £125,000 JCB Triumph Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 1f 125,000
2.10pm £95,000 Randox Health County Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m 1f
2.50pm £125,000 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 3m
3.30pm £575,000 Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase (Grade 1) 3m 2½f
4.10pm £45,000 St James’s Place Foxhunter Chase 3m 2½f
4.50pm £65,000 Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (0-145) 2m 4½f
5.30pm £105,000 Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 2m ½f
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