Cheltenham Festival 2021 will live long in the memory for trainer Henry de Bromhead when his horses surpassed all expectations and won three of the big Championship races with his recruits from the Irish point-to-point scene front and centre of them.
Honeysuckle opened the week with victory in the Champion Hurdle and come Friday afternoon it was Minella Indo who crowned a marvellous week for de Bromhead’s Knockeen Stables.
On the eve of the Punchestown Festival, the Waterford trainer has issued an update on many of his Cheltenham stars who he expects to line up at the Co. Kildare track next week beginning with Honeysuckle who will look to extend to 13 consecutive victories in the Paddy Power Champion Hurdle.
“She seems in really good form since Cheltenham,” said de Bromhead in a Stable Tour with attheraces.com. “We didn’t run her again after Cheltenham last year, but she seems really well and we are really excited about seeing her in the Paddy Power Champion Hurdler.
“It was the Punchestown Festival Sale that we bought her three years ago, so it would be so brilliant to go back there with her and win the Punchestown Champion Hurdle.
Following a promising recent workout at the Curragh, Envoi Allen will bid to get back the winning track in the Dooley Insurance Group Champion Novice Chase on the Tuesday following a mishap at Cheltenham and he will join the likes of Telmesomethinggirl and Bob Olinger – both of whom were among the winners at the Festival last month.
In the case of the latter he is an intended runner in the Alanna Homes Champion Novice Hurdle following a recent away day at the beach, whilst much of the attention will be directed at the Gold Cup winner Minella Indo who will face recent Aintree winner Clan Des Obeaux.
“He’s in great order. He’s so laid back that when we backed off him for a few days after the Gold Cup, he started getting chubby straight away, so we weren’t too long getting back to work with him.
“He was on the beach and he loved that. Our intention is to run him in the Ladbrokes Punchestown Gold Cup. The one concern we’d have is that he has been quite busy this season.
“It had been our intention to keep him busier this season, but it’s natural to be slightly worried when you get to the end of such a campaign. In fairness to him though, he is giving all the right signs and seems in great form. Jack Kennedy will ride him if he’s available.”