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Wednesday 10 March 2021

Can De Bromhead capitalise on new gains?

Envoi Allen, Galvin and Ballyadam are the horses that have travelled into new yards amid the Gordon Elliott scandal that has rocked horse racing. The outstanding competitors have been shifted away as he serves a six-month suspension, despite the fact that Denise Foster has stepped into the breach to replace Elliott at the Cullentra Stables. 

All three horses were leading contenders in the horse racing betting odds in their respective races heading into the 2021 Cheltenham Festival, highlighting their quality. Envoi Allen is perhaps the biggest loss from the Cullentra Yard due to his exceptional talent on the track. There will be no replacing his talent in the near future. 

The loss of Envoi Allen from Elliott’s yard is the gain of Henry de Bromhead. De Bromhead has a solid record on the track, recording wins in the Champion Chase with Sizing Europe and Special Tiara. Sizing Europe and Put The Kettle On have also won the Arkle Chase for the Irishman at Cheltenham Festival. However, the major prize of the Gold Cup has eluded De Bromhead thus far ahead of the 2021 Festival, although given the influx of quality into his yard that could change in the future. 

De Bromhead already boasted arguably the best chaser in the field with the brilliant Honeysuckle in his ranks. Envoi Allen could hand the Irishman two of the best horses in the National Hunt should the seven-year-old continue on his trajectory. There is even belief that Envoi Allen could be ready for the step up in the next campaign to challenge for the Gold Cup. The French thoroughbred has mastered every challenge that has been thrown his way to date. It remains to be seen whether the change in scenery from Cullentra to Waterford will have any bearing on his form.

De Bromhead has made the wise decision to continue with Jack Kennedy in the saddle for Envoi Allen given the understanding between the pair. Those choices will be key in the future in the development of the horse. Kennedy has also been successful with Ballyadam and Quilixios, and would have been fearful of losing all three rides to Rachael Blackmore, De Bromhead’s preferred jockey for his leading charges. However, De Bromhead has been bold and stuck Kennedy and it could allow a new relationship to blossom that benefits both parties.
The Irishman has gained a great deal with his new partnership with Cheveley Park Stud, but now has to deliver on the major stage. There will be pressure not only in the short term but in the long term to ensure that the quality horses maximise their potential on the Grand Stage. A huge opportunity awaits De Bromhead, one that could push him into the upper echelons of trainers on the National Hunt in the hope of matching the success of Nicky Henderson and Willie Mullins. The next 12 months will be fascinating to see whether he can mould his new horses into shape and chase the Gold Cup that has eluded many great trainers in the sport throughout the years.