GAVIN CROMWELL BLOG: Grade-1 Winning Trainer and BETDAQ Brand Ambassador Gavin Cromwell recaps Espoir D’Allen’s win in the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
Espoir D’Allen Champion Hurdle Win
The events of yesterday still haven’t really set in to be honest. I’m still having to pinch myself that I’ve trained a Champion Hurdle winner.
I have to admit, I wasn’t sure Espoir D’Allen was quite up to winning it this year, but I thought he’d run well and would run into a place. It was obviously very unfortunate what happened to Buveur D’Air and thankfully he’s none the worse for the fall, and when Apple’s Jade came under pressure, I did start to believe we might have a chance.
I’m a farrier by trade and I actually shoed Apple’s Jade last week and she looked fantastic. I really thought she’d win, but my horse was arguably travelling the best of them all down the hill and when we got to the second last, I knew he’d stay very well.
Espoir D’Allen is really well this morning, though I’d say it’s very unlikely we’ll see him again this year. We are very lucky to have him and we’ll campaign him around a repeat bid at the Champion Hurdle next season.
Being only a five-year-old, I’m pretty sure he has plenty of improvement in him, but based on yesterday, I actually don’t think he really needs to. He did it so impressively that it will take a really good one to beat him.
It’s by far the highlight of my training career so far. I train 45 horses, so for a yard of our size to be involved with a Champion Hurdle winner really is what dreams are made of. Hopefully we can improve the quality of horses we have and keep growing as a yard in the future.
Photo Credit: Pat Healy healyracing.ie