Henry De Bromhead Stable Tour: Cheltenham Festival 2023

Henry De Bromhead

Jake Russell | @JakeRuss1000

A Plus Tard

9yo Bay Gelding

Target - Gold Cup

Last season's Gold Cup heroine, he was absolutely brilliant when winning the feature chase at the festival last year, beating a former Gold Cup winner in Minella Indo by 15 lengths. He has always been a horse that connections have thought a lot of, especially in terms of the Gold Cup and he shown that by demolishing the field last year. He wasn't his usual best however in his season re-appearance in the Betfair Chase at Haydock last time, never travelling and was then pulled up before 3 fences out. He has also had his setbacks this season, and comes into the Gold Cup without a real prep run (He ran in the Savills Chase as a prep last year) plus the 5 month or so break won't be in his favour, but on his day with the peak rating of 180 we all know how good he can be, especially at a track he has won multiple times at in the past, but he really needs to bounce back to form and put the issues behind him.   


6yo Bay Gelding

Target - Supreme or Ballymore

A horse with little experience, but clearly has abundance of quality, he has only had the three starts over hurdles plus a point to point in his early days. A well fancied winner on debut at Wexford last October, winning nicely by 6 lengths. He then went on to win again, this time at Naas in the Grade 2 Navan Novice Hurdle, staying on gamely by a neck when there were a few Hurdles taken out the race, so probably didn't suit. Arguably his best run to date came at the Dublin Racing Festival last time out, finishing 2nd in the Grade 1 Ireland Novice Hurdle, he was beaten by 9 lengths that day. It's hard to gauge what race he might go for at the Festival, as a potential step up in trip will suit, but he is talented and is one to watch no matter what race he lines up in next month.  


8yo Grey Gelding

Target - Ultima, Plate and Kim Muir

A horse with a few varying entries for the festival, a decent hurdler who won two of his eight starts over the smaller obstacles, is yet to win in two tries over fences. Unfortunate to come up against Dysart Dynamo last time out, he was well beaten by 28 lengths, but did rally late on to claim the 2nd spot, so potentially a step up in trip will suit this horse and it might get his head in front over fences, but he does need to improve on his jumping. He's yet to step up in trip in his career, but connections are clearly taking their time in doing so, but he did run well in a point to point over 3 miles, so he has the form there. Keep an eye on his entries for next month. 


9yo Bay Mare

Target - Mares Hurdle

What can I say about Honeysuckle, that hasn't already been said a thousand times. An all-time great mare who had a fantastic unbeaten streak, winning 16 Hurdle races in a row, which included multiple Grade 1's and two Champion Hurdles at the Festival. She has lost her invincibility this season however, being beaten in her last two starts, but she needed the run on her first start this season in the Hatton's Grace and was beaten by a potential Champion Hurdle winner State Man at the Dublin Racing Festival last time. She is a previous winner of the Mares Hurdle, before the Champion Hurdle wins, and her running style more than suits Cheltenham. She might have lost some of her speed, but stepping back up in trip will potentially help with that, and it could be the final swansong us racing fans all want should she win this before retiring.


8yo Bay mare

Target - Mares Hurdle or Mares Chase

A decent hurdler who won four out of her fourteen starts over the smaller obstacles, she was a Grade 2 winner at that level, as well as a multiple Listed wins previously. Connections have always been under the impression she could be a smart chaser, and she has shown glimpses of that since going over the bigger obstacles this season (Also a winner of a point to point early on in her career) She was well fancied on Chase debut at Thurles last December, but was fairly well beaten by a horse who hasn't franked the form since. But she improved on that run to win next time out in a Mares Novices Chase at Naas last month, winning going away by 6 lengths. It's unclear on whether she will go back to hurdles or stay chasing, but judging by her previous run I think she could go well in the Mares Chase.

Monty's Star

6yo Bay Gelding

Target - Albert Bartlett or Ballymore

A horse that looks a thorough stayer in the making, he's only had the two starts over Hurdles, including a nice Grade 2 Victory last time out at Clonmel, having a ding dong battle all the way to the line with his stable mate Hiddenvalley Lake. He was the least experienced runner that day, but the inexperience didn't show as he win with merit, jumping well when it mattered, and stayed on stoutly to win by half a length. That was a difficult race however, so might leave some sort of mark on him, especially so early on in his career. But he is obviously a talented individual who will be staying on gamely all being well.    

Hiddenvalley Lake

6yo Chesnut Gelding

Target - Albert Bartlett

Coming into the festival, he looked like he could be Henry De Bromheads best chance of a winner, as on his three career runs so far, he looks quite talented. A winner in a 23-runner field at Naas last November, he won that with relative ease by just over 2 lengths, and then followed that up with a Grade 3 victory on just his 2nd career run, also taking the step up to 3 miles for the very first time. He won very nicely indeed at Cork that day, beating some nice staying types by 8 lengths, and was expected to back that up next time out. He didn't win however, but ran with huge credit to only be beaten by half a length by his stable mate, whilst carrying a 6lb penalty. He is another brilliant stayer for the yard, and with black type to his name already, he will go well at this year's festival should there be a bit of juice in the ground.   


8yo Bay Gelding

Target - Coral Cup or County Hurdle

A horse with the whole world at his feet back in 2020, he was a Grade 1 winner as a Novice for previous trainer Gordon Elliott, he hasn't lived up to that hype since unfortunately. He looks more of a top end handicapper now, but his form of late hasn't really lived up to expectations, running some sketchy races of late. He did run a decent 5th at the Festival last year however, when lining up in the County Hurdle. Also, a decent 3rd place finish behind Gaelic Warrior at the Dublin Racing Festival last time out, suggests he could be starting to find some form again, as he was only beaten by just under 5 lengths. But he does always seem to run well fresh and doesn't back up good runs as much anymore, so it will hard to gauge if we will have the Ballyadam of old running, but we know talent is there, so it wouldn't come as a shock should he run well at the festival

Summerville Boy

11yo Bay Gelding

Target - Coral Cup or Stayers Hurdle

The 2018 Supreme Novices Hurdle winner, he was a decent horse back in his Novice Hurdling days, but hasn't exactly backed that up since. he has since switched to the Henry De Bromhead yard, running two races for his new stable, finishing 4th at Punchestown in December, before going on to run a very decent 2nd over 3 miles next time out at Gowran Park, which was a Grade 2 contest. He was well beaten however by 15 lengths, but did keep on well up the home straight, so there may still be ability in there, and he clearly liked the step up in trip. He obviously has the Cheltenham form, so they will definitely be looking to run him all being well, and hopefully we can see his old form come back. 

Captain Guinness

8yo Bay Gelding

Target - Champion Chase

Connections have clearly always thought this horse could be top class, as he last five runs out of a possible six have been either Grade 1 or 2 races, including a very decent 2nd in the Grade 1 Club Chase at Leopardstown, 11 lengths behind Blue Lord. He doesn't really know how to run a bad race, and has some decent form figures at Cheltenham without winning. He was a Grade 2 winner on seasonal debut, and with his run last time out it looks as if he is still slightly improving with each run. With the Champion Chase being a bit more open this year with the main runners having question marks surrounding them, he could run his usual consistent race and be one to look out for to fill the places.  

Minella Indo

10yo Bay Gelding

Target - Minella Indo

One of Henry De Bromheads most recent stable stars, the 2021 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner has been an absolute stalwart on the national hunt racing scene. His 2021 feat in the Gold Cup was excellent, beating the subsequent 2022 Gold Cup winner A Plus Tard by just over 2 lengths, his form since then however has been slightly sketchy. But when you look at the races he has been running in, you can see why he hasn't exactly been winning since. Saying that, his seasonal debut at Tramore last time out was pretty decent, contesting in the Grade 3 New Years Day Chase and out battling Stattler to the line, winning by a neck. It looks as if he is going down the Al Boum Photo route of one run there, then Gold Cup in March. That might suit this horse, who does need to be freshened up before a race to run well, so only time will tell if he can regain his Gold Cup Crown.   

Coeur Sublime

8yo Bay Gelding 

Target - Grand Annual 

A fairly Smart hurdler back in the day who has looked on the way to matching that form over fences these past few seasons, including an almighty run in a Grade 1 Novice Chase last April at Leopardstown, pushing Blue Lord all the way to the line to only get beaten by a neck. That was probably a career best run, and this season is he is yet to hit those heights, falling on his seasonal debut, before running a 15-length 4th at Leopardstown over the Christmas period. He doesn't particularly look as much of a graded prospect as the back end of last season, but he is talented enough to land a big handicap plot at one of the major festivals for sure in the near future, providing he can re-produce that effort against Blue Lord last season.  

Gin On Lime

7yo Bay Mare

Target - X Country

A horse that hasn't exactly always looked like a potential stayer in the making, and her run last time out leaves a few more questions than answers, that was a fourth-place finish in the Kerry National at Listowel. That was her first career run at the 3-mile mark, and considering she was well beaten by 11 lengths, she was still keeping on all the way to the line, and had she not have produced a few mistakes on the way around, she might have been a bit closer to the top three finishers. She currently holds the record of five wins in thirteen runs over fences, which included a Grade 3 in 2021 over 2m4f. She's a hard one to gauge, but judging by her run last time out a further step up in trip won't be an issue, and considering she has a Grand National entry in April, I can see the festival run being an indicator towards that race for connections.

Magic Daze

7yo Bay Mare

Target - Grand Annual or Mares Chase

Another nice chasing mare for the De Bromhead team, she was very lightly raced as a hurdler, with only the four runs over the smaller obstacles, resulting in just the one win. But she did put in a nice effort in the Mares Novices Hurdle back in 2021, running well to finish 2nd behind Telmesomethinggirl. Connections have clearly thought Chasing is going to be her cup of tea, as she has run eight times over fences, winning on three separate occasions, including a Handicap Chase last season, and probably a career best run, winning a Listed Mares Chase at Naas this month. She jumped superbly, to make all going away and win by just under 4 lengths. That was an excellent performance, and with her sights set down slightly from last festival (Ran in the Arkle) she could be one to side with depending on what race she runs in. 

Slade Steel

5yo Bay Gelding

Target - Champion Bumper

The Champion Bumper picture is wide open this year, with no real stand out bumper horse unlike previous years. Slade Steel was a winner in a point to point over 3 miles in May last year, so a step up in trip for him will be on the cards very soon, so he may potentially lack the pace of some of the other runners this year, especially in a championship race. But take nothing away from him, and his debut effort at Punchestown in December of last year. He wasn't particularly fancied that day, but he did beat an odds-on favourite of Willie Mullins, who has come out and placed again. Slade Steel was a professional on his debut, running on very well towards the later stages of the race, looking quite impressive. It's hard to gauge his ability, but with the Champion Bumper scene being so open this year, he might run a decent race.  

Journey With Me

7yo Chesnut Gelding

Target - Turners Novice Chase

Another horse of the De Bromhead team who has clearly been touted as a chaser, being lighted raced as a hurdler last year he was thrown straight over fences this season. Falling on his chase debut three fences out at Gowran Park in November when running well, he then went on to put things right and win on the second attempt over larger obstacles, beating Brides Hill by an easy 13 lengths, who has since come 2nd in a Mares Chase next time out. Journey With Me then went on to contest in a Grade 3 Chase at Punchestown, well fancied to win he came a half a length 2nd behind Impervious. Although beaten last time out, that was a decent enough run, which will set him in good stead for the festival next month.  

Envoi Allen

9yo Bay Gelding

Target - Ryanair or Gold Cup

Another horse that promised so much in the early days, looking unbeatable at times, landing multiple Grade 1's including the Champion Bumper at the festival in 2019, and then the Ballymore in 2020. Since moving stables to the De Bromhead team his form has been slightly hit and miss (Nothing against the yard, he was moved half way through a season so that wouldn't have helped) he has shown slight glimpses of his old best, winning two Grade 1's and a Grade 2, but recently has been running at 2 and 3 miles, although he did win over the latter at Down Royal in November. It's clear to see he isn't as good as he once was, but still has Grade 1 ability as shown at the back end of last season, so will be interesting to see what race connections will aim for at this year's Festival.  

Magical Zoe

5yo Bay Mare

Target - Mares Novices Hurdle 

A half-sister to Ferrobin, Magical Zoe is nicely bred, and has shown that promise in her first two Hurdle runs for new yard (Previously trained by Barry Fitzgerald, and was a bumper winner last season) She won by just over a length on hurdle debut at Wexford last September, and that margin of victory doesn't do her justice, as she won with ease, toying with her rivals. She then backed that up by winning a Grade 3 Mares Novice Hurdle by a length. She was staying on all the way to the line, and won going away in the end. That was in November, so she will have quite a length break to deal with, but Cheltenham looks as if it will clearly suit, and she is a very interesting contender going forward. 

Foxy Girl

5yo Bay Mare

Target - Mares Novices Hurdle

Foxy Girl came into the new season with a fair bit of interest, especially from the French racing form analysts, as she finished a decent 2nd in a Listed contest at Auteuil for previous trainer David Cottin. She has since joined the De Bromhead team, and finished 2nd on her Hurdling debut, behind another mare who has since come out and won a Listed contest for Gordon Elliott. Foxy Girl did progress and win on her second hurdle start, beating 17 other rivals to win by 4 lengths, keeping on strongly all the way to the line. She didn't particularly jump with much fluency throughout, which is rare for a French import as they are schooled from a fairly young age. I would imagine there is still a bit of improving to come from her, as she is in good hands to do so.