Henry de Bromhead is targeting another landmark success
across the Irish Sea this weekend as Eklat De Rire goes for glory in the
The seven-year-old, beaten just twice in seven runs to date, provided Rachael Blackmore with her first victory since returning from injury at Wexford in October and has been installed as the joint third favourite in the ante-post market for Saturday’s
£250,000 feature at Newbury and is one of two de Bromhead entries alongside Chris’s Dream.
With the Champion Hurdle, Champion Chase, Gold Cup and Aintree Grand National representing a memorable spring for the County Waterford handler, he picked up where he left off at the start of the new campaign as A Plus Tard romped home in the Betfair Chase
at Haydock on Saturday.
That made de Bromhead the first Irish trainer to land the race and he admits he is pinching himself when reflecting on his 2021 achievements, which are not done yet.
“It’s incredible to have the horses we have at the moment,” he said. “When you list those races, they’re races I’d have dreamt of winning – it’s unreal, incredible.
"Eklat De Rire's owner Peter Davies mentioned this race [Ladbrokes Trophy] in the spring. He's based over there so would love to see him run in it and it suited the horse so we aimed towards it.
“He’s got good form and won well [at Wexford] the other day. He’s a really nice staying chaser, so fingers crossed we’ll get him there and he’ll give a good account of himself.
“He had some very good runs over fences last year. He was very impressive in his novice chase at Naas and we thought he was going well at Cheltenham.
"It seems a great idea for him and Chris's Dream. There's a bit of concern in terms of the ground. Both would probably prefer more ease in the ground, but we'll see.
"Second-season novices seem to have a good record in the race and hopefully Eklat De Rire fits that profile. How exposed or unexposed he is, I don't know really. We think a lot of him and we're looking forward to it."
De Bromhead’s duo are joined by three Willie Mullins contenders in an Irish quintet heading to Newbury.
Ante-post favourite Ontheropes is set to make the trip alongside Brahma Bull and Annamix from Closutton, with Mullins looking to claim the spoils for the first time since Total Recall’s triumph in 2017.
A big weekend for both trainers continues at Fairyhouse on Sunday, with three Grade 1s on a tantalising day of the Winter Festival.
De Bromhead's Honeysuckle is going for a Hatton's Grace Hurdle and the unbeaten mare has started the week in fine fettle.
"She seems in great form," he said.
"She schooled this morning and jumped well. Rachael was happy with her."