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Henry de Bromhead's Cheltenham Festival runners

Henry de Bromhead is a name synonymous with the Cheltenham Festival and success at the Cotswolds showpiece.

Last year's treble success included a hugely emotional farewell for Honeysuckle as she made it four-from-four at the Cheltenham Festival in signing off with victory in the Mares' Hurdle, while wins for Maskada in the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual and Envoi Allen in the Ryanair Chase helped de Bromhead take his tally of Festival winners to a healthy 21.

He first scored with Sizing Europe in the Arkle in 2010 and de Bromhead has saddled successive Gold Cup winners via Minella Indo in 2021 and A Plus Tard in 2022.

With stable jockey Rachael Blackmore alongside, they are a powerful duo and we've assessed some leading Cotswolds contenders in 2024 for the Knockeen trainer.

Horse Racing

Minella Indo 

The horse that gave de Bromhead his maiden Gold Cup win in 2021, Minella Indo is now into the veteran stages of his career at 11 years old. 

He was an Albert Bartlett winner as a novice over timber and then second to Champ in the three-mile Grade 1 novice chase in 2020 before his Gold Cup glory under Jack Kennedy. 

Stablemate A Plus Tard turned things around in style the following year and, last spring, Minella Indo was pulled up as Galopin Des Champs won the Blue Riband.

He was fourth in a Cross Country handicap here in December but that was a handicap and he was lumping weight to the three that beat him. They'll race off level come the Festival and the three-time Grade 1 winner is 15/8 to complete a Cheltenham Festival hat-trick. 

Envoi Allen 

Last year's win in the Ryanair Chase ensured that Envoi Allen became a three-time Festival winner having won the Champion Bumper in 2019 and the Baring Bingham Novices' Hurdle 12 months later, both when he was trained by Gordon Elliott.

He fell at this meeting on his first start for de Bromhead and despite ending 2021 with a Grade 1 win at Leopardstown, had become something of a disappointment before he bagged the Grade 1 Champion Chase over three miles at Down Royal in November 2022.

He didn't shine in the King George soon after but won that Ryanair in good style from Shishkin back here in March. 

He's got that target again and has not been seen since getting inched out by Gerri Colombe back at Down Royal in November. He's a dangerous one to overlook when fresh and is 7/2 to emulate Albertas Run and Allaho by landing back-to-back Ryanair wins.

Birdie Or Bust

This JP McManus-owned contender got some positive early season quotes from de Bromhead in dispatches and, while no match for Brighterdaysahead at Down Royal in November, that was no disgrace and she readily won a Listed event at Thurles the following month.

The beaten horses from that race – including Fun Fun Fun, Pastorale and Pink In The Park – have all shone a positive light on the form.

Birdie Or Bust could be set for the next step up the ladder in the Ryanair Mares' Novices' Hurdle, for which she trades at 20/1.

Maskada

The mare Maskada was hugely impressive in landing the Grand Annual last March and can be backed at 8/1 to repeat that feat this season, although a mark of 149 is already 7lb higher than last time.

Maskada was some eight lengths behind El Fabiolo in the Hilly Way at Cork in December. Overcoming the hot-favourite in the Queen Mother Champion Chase is unlikely, of course, but it's a race that de Bromhead has won three times, including with the mare Put The Kettle On in 2021.

Magical Zoe 

A year ago Magical Zoe finished second behind You Wear It Well in the Mares' Novices' Hurdle, which was being run in honour of Jack de Bromhead. 

She was given a lot to do from the rear and met plenty of trouble in coming to challenge, and ultimately, ran out of time.

An easy Listed winner at Gowran Park in September on her comeback, both runs since have been positive as she was second to subsequent Grade 1 winner Irish Point at Down Royal in November and then beaten only by Lord Erskine in a €90,000 Dublin Racing Festival handicap in February.

She's shown she acts at Cheltenham in the spring and Magical Zoe is 10/1 to win the County Hurdle.

This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.

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