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De Bromhead reveals strong Punchestown squad

  • Henry De Bromhead runs through which of his stable stars will run at the Punchestown Festival
  • This five-day meeting starts at Punchestown on Tuesday 27th April
  • Jack Kennedy will again partner Cheltenham hero Minella Indo in the Punchestown Gold Cup
  • De Bromhead also provdes quotes on Envoi Allen and Honeysuckle
henry de bromhead
Trainer Henry de Bromhead poses with the Gold Cup after winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase with Minella Indo. (Getty)

In partnership with the brilliant Rachael Blackmore, Henry De Bromhead has enjoyed his finest season as a trainer. Not only did De Bromhead win three of the four Championship races at the Cheltenham Festival, but Blackmore and Minella Times handed the Knockeen resident his first victory in the Grand National.

With the final major meeting of the National Hunt season, the Punchestown Festival on the horizon, Henry De Bromhead guided the Racing Post through which horses he planned to run next week.

First up was Cheltenham Gold Cup hero, Minella Indo, who'll now bid for a famous double in the Punchestown Gold Cup. De Bromhead revealed his star chaser is in fine order and Jack Kennedy will retain his spot in the saddle.

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"Minella Indo has been good since Cheltenham. He's so laid-back." De Bromhead told reporters today. "We backed off him after the festival and he got a bit chubby so we had to start back with him again but he seems in great form. He was on the beach this morning and he loved that.

"He's tough and seems to have taken Cheltenham well. The one concern would be he's had quite a few runs this season. We said we'd keep him busy this season and this will be his sixth run, which concerns me slightly, but he seems to be in great form."

"Jack will ride the horse if he's available. He got a great tune out of him at Cheltenham and we're delighted for him."

On his first start since being switched from Gordon Elliott, Envoi Allen tasted defeat for the first time when falling at just the fourth fence in the Marsh Chase. De Bromhead confirmed his recruit has recovered well from that tumble, and he'll tackle Monkfish in the three-mile novices' chase.

"Envoi Allen seems in great form. He worked well the other day at the Curragh and we're happy with him. Obviously he was unfortunate at Cheltenham when he made a mistake.

"We have got to know him a bit better. He's more settled here. Even schooling him the other morning, he jumped really well, not that he ever did before Cheltenham, but he seems to be really good."

"Monkfish has been impressive all year but he was perhaps at his least impressive at Cheltenham. Prior to that he'd been unreal. We haven't confirmed who will ride Envoi Allen yet."

Honeysuckle will put her unbeaten record on the line at Punchestown. (Getty)

Last up was the all-conquering Honeysuckle, who remained unbeaten after a superb victory in the Champion Hurdle. 

"Honeysuckle has come out of Cheltenham really well and we're excited about running her." De Bromhead continued" Last year we didn't run her after she won the Mares' Hurdle and the year before we didn't go to Cheltenham so this is the first time we're running her back, but she seems very well and we’re happy with her.

De Bromhead also discussed whether we could see Honeysuckle jump fences one day.

"That's something we'll have to discuss during the summer. She's so good over hurdles, you'd wonder could you visualise her going somewhere for a mares' beginners' chase.

"Every Sunday morning she reminds me how good she could be over fences because we always give her a jump. She goes into the indoor arena and starts popping away. She jumps really well in fairness."

Two of Honeysuckle's stablemates, Aspire Tower and Jason The Millitant are likely to join her in the Punchestown Champion Hurdle field.

"Aspire Tower is in great form and he will run. He's a hardy nut and we're pleased with him. Jason The Militant could run as well."

De Bromhead also confirmed that fellow Cheltenham Festival winners Telmesomethinggirl, Quilixios and Bob Olinger are also set to run at Punchestown.

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