De Bromhead hits target again for Gigginstown as Sub sinks Titanic rivals
If this was an audition for Henry de Bromhead to prove to Michael and Eddie O'Leary he could perform on the big days when the spotlight is shining brightest, he did not put a foot wrong.
De Bromhead was one of the big winners in the recent Gigginstown reshuffle and he is making the most of the opportunity. His big-race double here with Valseur Lido and Sub Lieutenant might lay the foundations for a relationship that could get even more serious down the line.
Just like Valseur Lido, who arrived from Willie Mullins a few weeks ago, Sub Lieutenant is also a recent addition to the De Bromhead stable and he produced a performance out of the top drawer to land the Grade 2 Titanic Belfast Chase.
Ladbrokes shortened him to 20-1 (from 33) for the King George and go 16-1 (from 33) for the Ryanair Chase. Betfair also make him a 16-1 chance for the Ryanair.
De Bromhead: "He was impressive at Limerick but this was a different class of race so I'm delighted to see him do something similar. He's a funny horse. He's a character but he's just the most brilliant jumper. When he sees a fence he just wants to go and jump it."
So could the King George be on the agenda? The trainer added: "He's entered in it but he's only a second-season novice so we'll have to see. I'd like to speak to the lads first and see what they want to do. The John Durkan is another option."
Fortune 20-1 for Triumph
Mega Fortune earned a quote of 20-1 for the Triumph Hurdle after he landed the opening 3-Year-Old Hurdle by 13 lengths for trainer Gordon Elliott.
The ex-Andy Oliver juvenile only got as far as the second on his hurdling debut at Thurles but he put that unfortunate experience behind him under a confident ride from Keith Donoghue. What's more, Elliott thinks there is a lot more to come.
He said: "He's a nice horse and he'll come on a good bit. He was very green through the race. I'd say he's going to win plenty of races. I'd imagine he'll go to Fairyhouse early next month for the Grade 3 there. He didn't have much of a race, it was only a schooling hurdle for him."
Bel begins Meade double
He might not have been able to match Elliott's six winners but Noel Meade left Down Royal with a wide smile after Bel Ami De Sivola and Tiger Sam scored to give him three winners in two days.
Meade is a big fan of Bel Ami De Sivola, for whom chasing is on the agenda next season as the trainer expects him to make his mark at that game.
He said: "He was weak last year and two and a half miles would probably suit him better. He'll stay over hurdles this season but will make a lovely chaser in time."
Thought for the day
Other trainers would surely love to find out how Henry de Bromhead gets his team to jump so well. Valseur Lido and Sub Lieutenant barely touched a twig on their way to winning the two main events on the card. What he does with his chasers is quite remarkable.