Henry De Bromhead appreciation tweet 🙌
🏆Cheltenham Gold Cup
An incredible last month pic.twitter.com/WRWFJ0U5Zl
— Racing Post (@RacingPost) April 10, 2021
Before this year, Irish trainer Henry de Bromhead was arguably best known for his successes with Sizing Europe. With a victory in the 2010 Arkle Challenge Trophy, he was the horse that landed the 48-year-old his maiden Cheltenham Festival triumph, and he followed that up with a win in the Queen Mother Champion Chase back at Prestbury Park in 2011.
From there, wins were few and far between for de Bromhead at Cheltenham, especially in the big outings with only Special Tiara winning a feature race, the 2017 Champion Chase, in the decade between 2011 and 2021. However, this year, the County Waterford-based trainer has taken the sport by storm and in the last couple of months alone, he has made history on numerous occasions.
That includes becoming the first trainer to win National Hunt racing’s big four races in the same year. So, without further ado, lets take a look at his historic quadruple.
Cheltenham Champion Hurdle – Honeysuckle
Given that Honeysuckle went into the Champion Hurdle, day one’s feature race, unbeaten in 10 races, it’s no surprise that the mare was heavily backed on the online sports betting sites, and she duly delivered for de Bromhead. With fellow history maker Rachael Blackmore in the saddle, Honeysuckle went on to beat Willie Mullins-trained Sharjah by over six lengths with defending champion Epatante lagging some nine-and-a-half lengths behind in third.
Queen Mother Champion Chase – Put The Kettle On
Despite boasting over 70 wins at the Festival, Mullins is yet to win the Champion Chase. Odds-on favourite Chacun Pour Soi (8/13) was expected to end that drought this year. However, Aidan Coleman and Put The Kettle On had other ideas. It was an extremely tight race and the drama heightened with several horses in contention as they raced up the home straight. In the end, it was Put The Kettle On, who set off at 17/2, who landed a narrow victory, beating Nube Negra over the line by just half a length. The market leader was just a further length behind.
Cheltenham Gold Cup – Minella Indo
Given de Bromhead’s and Blackmore’s week in the build-up to the Gold Cup, it seemed if anyone was going to deny Al Boum Photo an historic third successive victory in the showpiece race it would be A Plus Tard. However, it was the trainer’s much less fancied entry Minella Indo who prevailed. Blackmore is the horse’s regular rider, but with the 31-year-old opting to ride A Plus Tard, Jack Kennedy was sworn in for the race, and the 21-year-old guided the 9/1 shot over the line a length-and-a-quarter clear of Blackmore. On top of the impressive 1-2 in the Gold Cup, de Bromhead became the first trainer to win the three races in the same year at the Festival.
The Grand National – Minella Times
Just when you thought a 1-2 in the Gold Cup couldn’t be topped, de Bromhead landed the same feat in the recent Grand National. Minella Times lined up for starter’s orders amongst the front runners at around 9/1, and the whole nation would have been on their feet cheering as Blackmore and the eight-year-old romped over the line, as she became the first female jockey to win the prestigious race in the process. Behind her was fellow de Bromhead-trained horse Balko Des Flos (100/1) and jockey Coleman.
“It’s just brilliant, a lot’s down to Rachael and she was just brilliant on him today,” de Bromhead said afterwards. “She hardly left the rail, she was just brilliant on him and it’s brilliant to get it for the McManus family. I’m over the moon. And Balko Des Flos was brilliant as well.”