It looks like Henry of Bromhead will be going down some familiar paths with some of his stable stars as jump season begins to kick in.
A Plus Tard clinched the Betfair Chase en route to Cheltenham Gold Cup glory last season and will restart their campaign at Haydock, while the two-time Champion Hurdle winner Honeysuckle will seek to win the Hatton’s Grace Hurdle for the fourth consecutive year then that she is starting what should be her last year on the right track.
Meanwhile, 2021 Gold Cup winner Minella Indo will look to follow in the footsteps of two-time Cheltenham winner Al Boum Photo when he starts at Tramore on New Years Day, with Bob Olinger returning to the smaller hurdles after a disappointing end to last season on the fences. .
De Bromhead saddled a one-two at Thurles on Thursday as he returned to the track for the first time since the tragic death of his son Jack in a pony racing accident last month and ran through the plans of some of his strings.
He told Racing TV: “I’m really happy with all of them, they’re all working well to warm up. I would say A Later Tard would go back to Haydock – that’s the plan for now.
“Honeysuckle will go to Hatton’s Grace and Minella Indo will probably go to Tramore on New Years Day – it’s a great place and that’s the plan at the moment.
“Bob (Olinger) will probably come back to hurdles. We’ll start in the Lismullen in Navan and then I think it could go either way. He has so much class and I don’t know what happened from Cheltenham and it was a big mistake on my part to direct him to Punchestown. Maybe it’s just closure – I hope it is – his work is top class.
Reflecting on the toughest times for his family, the County Waterford manager thanked the racing industry for their support.
He continued, “We’ve had a pretty tough time, but the support from our family, friends and industry and everywhere has been amazing and Heather, Georgia, Mia and I have been blown away by it.
“Every support we receive gives us a little bit of strength and we feel incredibly lucky to have everyone around us.”
Thursday’s winners from De Bromhead were ridden by Mark Walsh and Darragh O’Keeffe as stable jockey Rachael Blackmore suffered an injury during her studies which should keep her out of action for a few days.
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