Spectacular results at Cheltenham
After the first two days of the Cheltenham Festival, Highflyer-sourced horses have already notched up five victories and 15 places for 12 different trainers. The buying team have been responsible for the 1-2 in the Gr1 Champion Hurdle (Buveur D'Air and My Tent Or Yours), the Gr1 Arkle (Altior and Cloudy Dream), the Gr1 RSA chase (Might Bite and Whisper), plus the 1-3 in the Gr1 Neptune Novices Hurdle (Willoughby Court and Messire Des Obeaux). Indeed the Champion Hurdle was a particularly noteworthy one as Highflyers buys filled 6 of the first 7 home.
Cheltenham Festival 2017
The Festival dawns with about 90 horses sourced by the Highflyer Team due to run over the 4-day Festival.
Click here to full details of the runners.
See Racing Post article featuring Highflyer’s team Click here
Betbright Day at Kempton on Saturday 25 February was a special one for Anthony Bromley as he was responsible for the first four winners on the card including 3 Graded events. All four victors could now be heading for the Cheltenham Festival – River Frost (Martin Pipe Hurdle), Master Blueyes (Triumph Hurdle), Frodon (JLT Novices Chase) and River Wylde (Supreme Novices Hurdle). These 3 Graded winners took Highflyer’s seasonal tally of Graded/Listed winners to 60 and the company’s record of 71 in a season (2105) now looks under threat.
Grade 2 double
Many of the Cheltenham Trials continue to go the way of Highflyer-sourced horses as both Yanworth (Gr 2 Kingwell Hurdle) and Zarkandar (Gr 2 Rendlesham Hurdle) took the honours on the weekend of 19 February. Indeed, Zarkandar led a 1-2 for Highflyer buys as he beat Aux Ptits Soins at Haydock and Yanworth was pushed hard by Sceau Royal who is now also Champion Hurdle-bound, whilst the smart chaser Saphir Du Rheu booked his place in the Gold Cup line-up with a smooth victory in the Ivan Straker Chase at Kelso.
With 10 winners over the weekend, Highflyer-bought horses are continuing to set the pace in the run-up to the Cheltenham Festival. The shining star was undoubtedly Altior, who sauntered to victory against his elders in the Gr.2 Game Spirit Chase at Newbury. He is now a heavily odds-on favourite for the Arkle Trophy at Cheltenham. Other smart prospects to win over the last four days included Daphne Du Clos (Listed bumper), Ballyandy (Gr.3 Betfair Hurdle), Politologue and Impulsive Star – all of which head to Cheltenham with high hopes in their respective races there.
Flawless start to February
The first weekend of February saw Highflyer-bought horses win 12 races including the first five races on Musselburgh’s Trials Day on Sunday, 5th February. However, the most prestigious winner of the dozen won Top Notch is the Gr.1 Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase at Sandown – this was the third consecutive victory in this race for the owners (Simon Munir and Isaac Souede) and for jockey Daryl Jacob, following other Highflyer-bought victors Bristol De Mai and Gitane Due Berlais. The other big winner on the Sandown card was another Anthony Bromley purchase, namely Buveur D’Air who has since shot to prominence in the Champion Hurdle betting and may even go off as favourite on the big day in March. Highlights for the Musselburgh 2-day Festival include Frodon, Lough Derg Spirit and Minella Charmer who will all be seen next at the Cheltenham Festival.
The Great Many Clouds
Cheltenham Trials Day was one of very mixed emotions as we lost the amazing Many Clouds after a ding-dong tussle to beat the Gold Cup favourite Thistlecrack in the Gr.2 Cotswold Chase. Bought by David Minton as a foal for his owner Trevor Hemmings, Many Clouds had had many other big days in the sun previously for the Oliver Sherwood stable including the 2014 Hennessy Gold Cup and the 2015 Grand National. He had 12 career victories and had earned almost £1 million in prizemoney for his devoted team. His loss overshadowed what else had been a great day for Highflyer, with seven winners being sourced by the buying team, of which four were in Graded/Listed events. Wholestone and Constantine Bay won both the Grade 2 novice hurdles at Cheltenham and Doncaster and will now head for the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at the Festival on March 17. Whilst Ziga Boy’s second consecutive victory in the Skybet Chase at Doncaster should hopefully pave a way for him to contest the Grand National in April now.
January has so far proven to be a good month for Highflyer-sourced horses despite a number of high-profile abandonments due to the weather. Bristol De Mai and The New One notched up a smart Grade 2 double over fences and over hurdles at Haydock on Jan 21. Indeed, Bristol De Mai thrust himself firmly into the Gold Cup picture with a demolition display to win the Peter Marsh Chase by 22 lengths. He could next go for the Grade 1 Ascot Chase on 18 Feb. The New One, bought as a 3yo store by David Minton for €25,000, was gutsy in taking the Haydock Champion Hurdle Trial for the third time and whether he goes for the Champion or the Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham, his backers will know they will get a great run for their money as he is a real battler. Willoughby Court was a hugely impressive Grade winner over hurdles at Warwick on Jan 14 and he was a €48,000 store purchase by Highflyer’s Tessa Greatrex. He is Cheltenham-bound now for either the Neptune or the Albert Bartlett..