'It would be incredible' - Henry de Bromhead on Blackmore's title bid
Henry de Bromhead will do everything in his power to help Rachael Blackmore become champion jockey but does not underestimate the task she faces to usurp the sidelined Paul Townend this season.
The reigning champion leads Blackmore by eight winners and, while there remains some doubt whether he will be fit enough to defend his crown at Punchestown after picking up an injury at Fairyhouse this month, De Bromhead believes he will be difficult to catch.
With no jump racing in Ireland this weekend, De Bromhead and Blackmore, who won the Grand National this month, bid for more big-race glory with Plan Of Attack in the bet365 Gold Cup (3.40) at Sandown on Saturday.
This year's Queen Mother Champion Chase winner, Put The Kettle On, will be aimed at the bet365 Celebration Chase (3.05) and Aidan Coleman will keep the ride aboard the seven-year-old.
Speaking about Blackmore's title hopes, De Bromhead said: "I'm not sure what Paul's situation is. Even if he's not going to make it back in time for Punchestown, it's still going to be tough.
"It would be incredible if she achieves it and we'll do our best. We'll support her as best we can and wouldn't it be fantastic if she did it?"
Asked what makes Blackmore, who has ridden 87 Irish winners this season, so effective, the trainer added: "In the Grand National, it was almost as if she was seeing around corners – she saw problems before they happened. She's just brilliant to work with, has a great work ethic and knows how hard you have to work to succeed. I've said it all before but we feel very lucky to have her."
Plan Of Attack, who fell in the Kim Muir, is a general 5-1 chance to strike at Sandown and De Bromhead believes stepping up in trip can unlock the improvement required for him to play a leading role.
He said: "Rachael will ride him. He seemed to be going well before he came down in the Kim Muir and I know Rachael is keen to go over and ride him at Sandown. She seems keen on his chances.
"This guy hasn't really been tried over this kind of a trip. We always felt marathon trips would suit. He's in off a light weight and we're hoping for improvement over this trip."
bet 365 Gold Cup
Sponsors 5 Kitty's Light, Plan Of Attack, 6 Enrilo, 7 El Presente, 10 Golan Fortune, Potterman, 14 Crosspark, 16 bar.
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