Full steam ahead for De Bromhead
A look ahead to Friday's action for the opening meeting of the season at Cheltenham, including Henry de Bromhead on Full Cry.
Henry de Bromhead has a strong hand at Cheltenham
Henry de Bromhead is looking forward to sending a small but select team of three horses for the opening meeting of the season at Cheltenham on Friday.
Racegoers are welcomed back to Prestbury Park with an intriguing seven-race card on the first afternoon of a two-day fixture billed as The Showcase.
County Waterford-based De Bromhead had his team firing on all cylinders on home soil during the summer months and is hoping to carry on the run in the Cotswolds.
His first representative is Ridestan, who bids to complete a hat-trick in the squareintheair.com Novices' Chase under Grand National-winning jockey David Mullins.
De Bromhead said: "He's very well and we're looking forward to running him.
"He won his beginners' chase in Killarney very impressively and then just held on in the Grade Three in Gowran.
"This looks a good novice chase and he has his penalty, but we're hoping he'll run well."
Neverushacon, just a nose behind Ridestan at Gowran Park, renews rivalry for fellow Irish trainer Jessica Harrington, who also saddles Gambling Girl.
The Paul Nicholls-trained Marracudja and Presenting Arms from Harry Fry's stable also feature in an eight-strong field.
De Bromhead fires a twin assault at the Ryman Stationery Cheltenham Business Club Novices' Chase, with the Mullins-ridden Full Cry joined by Heron Heights, the mount of Phillip Enright.
"They're two nice horses who've had good seasons through summer," said the trainer.
"Heron Heights stayed the three miles well in Clonmel the last day, albeit in a rated novice chase.
"Full Cry hasn't been three miles since his point-to-point days, but we've always seen him as a stayer.
"It's difficult to split them."
The highest-rated of six runners is Gordon Elliott's Tiger Roll. The 2014 Triumph Hurdle hero returns to the scene of his greatest triumph after winning the Munster National at Limerick less than a fortnight ago.
Harrington saddles Duckweed, while the two British hopes are Cottersrock and Tempestatefloresco.
The opening Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle is a strong heat, with each of the five participants lining up off the back of victories.
Nicholls runs El Bandit, local trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies is represented by Templeross and Irish hopes rest on the Charles Byrnes-trained Black Warrior.
The Join The Jockey Club Ownership Syndicate Handicap Hurdle looks competitive, with Lord Wishes, Washed Ashore and Ballinure among 17 runners.
Five-time runner-up Casper King bids to finally get his head in front in the Harrison James & Hardie Maiden Hurdle, while there are plenty of familiar names on show in the Ryman Stationery Amateur Riders' Handicap Chase.
The Racing UK Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle brings proceedings to a close, with recent Chepstow scorer Wishfull Dreaming sure to be a popular selection.