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Remember the Name: Brighterdaysahead

The omnipresent maroon and while silks of Gigginstown House Stud are no longer quite so prevalent but in Brighterdaysahead they have a smart up-and-coming mare to look forward with.

The Michael O'Leary-led operation was said to be winding down a few years ago but the Irishman retains his interest in National Hunt racing and he, along with trainer Gordon Elliott, will be dreaming of Cheltenham in March with the very promising Brighterdaysahead.

She's now a perfect five-from-five in her career to date and seemingly Cotswolds-bound next.

Horse Racing

Brighterdaysahead Trainer/Connections 

Trainer Gordon Elliott is no stranger to major successes. His first ever runner in the Aintree Grand National was Silver Birch in 2007 and he won, making Elliott the youngest-ever winning trainer at 29.

That win came less than 12 months after he'd taken out his license and, since then, Elliott has established himself as one of the finest and most successful trainer's operating across Britain or Ireland.

In 2017 and 2018 he was the top trainer at the Cheltenham Festival, while before that he'd sent out Don Cossack in 2016 to win the Gold Cup itself.

Perhaps the horse he is best known for however is the hugely popular Tiger Roll, winner of back-to-back Grand Nationals at Aintree in 2018 and 2019 and a five-time winner at the Cheltenham Festival.

Gigginstown House Stud is the racing operation run by the O'Leary's – Ryanair boss Michael and brother Eddie.

The operation won the Cheltenham Gold Cup with War Of Attrition in 2006 trained by Mouse Morris and repeated the feat a decade later with Don Cossack.

Though the O'Leary's announced in 2019 they planned to scale back their racing operation, the famous silks are still to be seen on the track, most prominently now in Ireland. 

Brighterdaysahead Cost

Brighterdaysahead was picked up at the Tattersalls Ireland sales in June 2022 for the fee of €310,000.

Brighterdaysahead Breeding

The mare was bred in France by Francois-Marie Cottin, the Chantilly-based trainer whose family have strong ties dating back many years with the beautiful racecourse that is located on the Cote d'Azur.

Brighterdaysahead Achievements 

After arriving in Ireland to join the team at Cullentra House Stables, Brighterdaysahead debuted in February 2023 and won a Gowran Park bumper in the hands of Harry Swan.

From there, the partnership went to Fairyhouse and their Easter Festival, this time landing a pot worth €60,000 in the Tattersalls Ireland George Mernagh Memorial Sales Bumper.

Elliott's stable jockey Jack Kennedy took over for the commencement of Brighterdaysahead's jumping career at Thurles in October 2023 and they scored readily before adding a Grade 3 Mares Novice Hurdle at Down Royal the month after.

On 11th February 2024, Brighterdaysahead delivered her best effort so far as she easily the Listed Apple's Jade Mares Novice Hurdle at Navan – a race named after another Gigginstown star and multiple Grade 1-winning mare.

That win came on heavy ground on her first attempt at the two-mile-five-furlong trip.

Brighterdaysahead Future Aspirations 

Following that Navan success, Elliott was extremely fulsome in his praise of the mare, suggesting the long-term future for her will over fences.

"She's a good mare, a proper mare. She's very, very good – I don’t say that about too many," reported Elliott. "Jack said he couldn't get a lead any longer on her and he said she wasn't doing a stroke in front.

"She'll come on from it too as we missed a little bit of time with her, nothing serious just niggly things. She's got a pedigree to be nice and her future is in front of her. She looks like a chaser."

For now, the Cheltenham Festival next month surely beckons. 

Brighterdaysahead is 11/4 to win the Mares' Novices' Hurdle in the Cotswolds, a race her owner sponsors, while if connections are feeling that bit more daring, she's 33/1 for the Mares' Hurdle itself. 

She is also entered against the boys in Grade 1 company for the Supreme Novices' Hurdle (25/1) and the Baring Bingham Novices' Hurdle (20/1) at the Cheltenham Festival. 

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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