Cheltenham Festival ante-post tips: Five to follow from the Henry De Bromhead stable
Five Henry De Bromhead Cheltenham Hopefuls to Follow
Trainer Henry De Bromhead enjoyed a dream Cheltenham Festival in 2021, training six Graded winners. These included becoming the first trainer in history to win the Champion Hurdle, Champion Chase and Cheltenham Gold Cup in the same season. The golden run of form was capped three weeks’ later when Minella Times won the Aintree Grand National under Rachael Blackmore. It is going to be a hard act to follow but we have picked out five of the stable’s best chances of winning at the 2022 festival meeting.
Honeysuckle (Champion Hurdle)
Once again, Honeysuckle leads the De Bromhead team on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival. The brilliant mare left her rivals toiling last year under a confident ride from Blackmore, going clear before the last to beat Sharjah by six and a half lengths. She has dominated the ante-post betting on the Champion Hurdle all season and it will be a major surprise if she is beaten.
The eight-year-old confirmed her well-being by outclassing the opposition to secure a third successive win in the Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown. The victory took her record to 14 wins from 14 races and a fifteenth success at Cheltenham will take her career earnings through the £1million barrier.
Telmesomethinggirl (Mares Hurdle)
Telmesomethinggirl won the Mares Novices’ Hurdle in 2021 and is favourite to follow up in the Mares Hurdle this year. She needed the run when fifth at Punchestown in November and then finished a close third to Royal Kahala at Leopardstown. She came from well off the pace that day and was only beaten just over a length when attempting to concede 5lbs.
Journey With Me (Ballymore Novices Hurdle/Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle)
Journey With Me emerged as one of the favourites for the Ballymore when defeating Minella Crooner and odds-on favourite Kilcruit at Leopardstown after Christmas. He looks very much in the mould of last year’s winner, stable companion Bob Olinger. He also has the option of stepping up to three miles for the Albert Bartlett and a final decision will be taken after his prep run at Naas on February 12th.
Bob Olinger (Turner Novices Chase)
Bob Olinger was a dominant winner of the Ballymore last year and has looked a natural over the larger obstacles this season. He has won both starts at Gowran Park and Punchestown with the minimum of fuss and is expected to start a very short-priced favourite for the Turner Novices’ Chase. His main market rival is the impressive Galopin Des Champs who, until recently, had looked more likely to contest the Brown Advisory Chase over three miles.
A Plus Tard (Cheltenham Gold Cup)
A Plus Tard was runner-up last year in the Gold Cup behind stable companion Minella Indo. De Bromhead’s duo are on course to clash again at Cheltenham in March but A Plus Tard has been the more impressive of the two this season. He romped to an easy win in the Betfair Chase at Haydock and was only just caught by Galvin in the Savills Chase. He may have hit the front a shade too soon that day and will go to Cheltenham a fresh horse. Minella Indo reserves his best form for Cheltenham so his second place in the Irish Gold Cup will have given his supporters plenty of encouragement.