After the memorable 2020 Cheltenham Festival, Henry de Bromhead will return to Prestbury Park this March with another team.
The coach won six carnival races at least of the year – including Champion Hurdle, Queen Mother Champions Chase and Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Although long respected as a master coach, De Bromhead’s success at last year’s meeting was unprecedented, setting high expectations for this year.
His roster will be deep and powerful with compelling opportunities in at least two of the championship races as well as one of the most exciting novice chasers around.
With steady driver Rachael Blackmore undoubtedly one of the best in the business and a number 1 in the bag already this season – things are headed for another huge March for the De Bromhead team .
Here, we rank the top faculty opportunities for this year’s meeting from
Envoi Allen (Ryanair Chase)
Best price: 16/1
Envoi Allen’s transition from jump racing’s next superstar to the sport’s ultimate conundrum happened fairly quickly.
Last March, he was the banker of the meeting for many before a popular event in early fall during Marsh Novices’ Chase brought his festival to an early end.
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Since that game, his form has yo-yo-yo-yo-yo-yo-yo-yo-yo-yo-yo-yo-yo from two defeats in Punchestown to a 1st place win. admittedly weak at Leopardstown at Christmas.
It is impossible to predict what we will get from him in March but what is certain is that if he returns to something at his best he will be right there in the Ryanair Chase race. .
If De Bromhead can get Envoi Allen to cook on gas again, January 16 could be huge in March.
Minella Indo (Cheltenham Gold Cup)
Best price: 8/1
Things have yet to go as planned for last year’s Gold Cup winner this season but memories of his success at last year’s meeting are still burning bright.
After taking the better of steady friend A Plus Tard in last year’s Gold Cup, Minella Indo has emerged as the next three-mile chase superstar.
However, defeats at Down Royal and Kempton this season have exposed some possibility of failure and De Bromhead has some work to do to get the Gold Cup winner back to his best.
That said, Cheltenham has always been a happy hunting ground for Minella Indo and it will take a brave man to rule him out from claiming his second Gold Cup.
Bob Olinger (The novice chaser)
Best price: 6/4F
Allaho produced the most impressive visual success at last year’s meeting, Bob Olinger is next on that list.
The fact that he destroys Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle in the manner of a horse possessing endless talent and so the excitement about his move to the fence is entirely justified.
We’ve only seen him once this season, when he won a classy starter Gowran Park chase, with De Bromhead choosing not to let him into deeper water in Christmas.
We’re set to see him at Punchestown this weekend when his jump will once again be under the microscope.
A quality performance is sure to see him shorten even further for the festival.
A Plus Tard (Cheltenham Gold Cup)
Best price: 7 / 2F
De Bromhead has two of the top three in betting for the festival’s biggest race, with A Plus Tard leading the market.
Already a carnival winner, the eight-year-old was Rachael Blackmore’s choice over Minella Indo in last season’s grand slam but the pair have come together by the way.
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In this season’s Betfair Chase at Haydock, A Plus Tard punctuated his top-tier credentials with a decisive 22-long success.
He lost little in a narrow loss to rival Galvin in the Gold Cup at Leopardstown at Christmas and could be punished in the Ireland Gold Cup at the Dublin Racing Festival next month.
Provided nothing happens to him before March, A Plus Tard is likely to win the Gold Cup favorite.
Champion Hurdle (Champion Hurdle)
Best price: 8 / 11F
Dominant. Can’t fault it anywhere. Invincible?
Honeysuckle is car racing’s biggest star and remains undefeated in 13 race starts for owner Kenny Alexander.
A 9-time 1st grade winner, she made her career best in the festival at least of the year defeating Sharjah more than six times in Champion Hurdle.
It was her second win at Cheltenham and underscored her utter dominance in the two-mile hurdles division.
She showed her health ahead of Christmas with an unrelenting success in Hatton’s Grace Hurdle and will now be targeted for a third Irish Champion early next month before attention turns to Cheltenham.
Already loved 8/11 Champion Hurdle favorite, Honeysuckle’s closest market competitor, Appreciate It, is priced at 8/1.
It was arguably the biggest shock of the meeting if she got hit.
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https://www.thesun.ie/sport/horse-racing/8193501/cheltenham-festival-henry-de-bromheads-five-best/ Henry de Bromhead’s Five Best Runners Ranked