GAVIN CROMWELL: Champion Hurdle Winning Trainer and Brand Ambassador Gavin Cromwell this week shares his delight at extending his partnership with BETDAQ and discusses a number of his horses who he hopes can head to The Festival next month.
Delighted to have re-signed with BETDAQ
We’re really happy to be continuing the partnership with BETDAQ in 2020. They have been great supporters of Irish racing and of the yard since 2018, so it’s a good fit for all parties. Hopefully we will have another good year ahead.
It’s obviously a very exciting time of the year with Cheltenham under a month away and as things stand we’re going to be taking our biggest team ever over there. Here’s a look at a few of them ahead of the four-day meeting in March.
He ran an absolute cracker at the Dublin Racing Festival and all roads lead to the Champion Hurdle on the back of that. He’s more than entitled to take his chance after that second to Honeysuckle and although a few people are knocking the form, you can’t knock what he’s done in the last few months. He’s really progressed and given he was third to Envoi Allen, the Ballymore favourite, and second the last day in the Irish Champion Hurdle, he’s definitely got a squeak at Cheltenham.
After last year’s victory with Espoir D’Allen and his sad passing subsequently, it’s fantastic to be going back to Cheltenham so quickly. Darver Star has been brilliant for us and hopefully he can do himself justice in a few weeks’ time.
In a similar vein, Wolf Prince put in a fantastic performance at Leopardstown the last day. Who knows what would have happened had Aspire Tower stayed on his feet, but it was a fine performance nonetheless. The Irish handicapper has raised him to 136 and we’re still very much on the fence if we’ll run him in the Triumph or the Fred Winter.
He’d most likely be top-weight in the Fred Winter, but would probably have around 10lbs to find with some of the market leaders in the Triumph, so the decision is still very much up in the air as to where he’ll end up. We’d like to think Cheltenham will suit him. The way he’s gone so far suggests he’ll be doing his best work up the hill when others might be beginning to feel the pinch.
He has entries in both the Supreme and Ballymore and he’ll also get entries in the handicaps too. The Coral Cup is probably the most likely as he might struggle to get into the Martin Pipe, but we’ll make that decision nearer the time.
He’s a very exciting horse and whatever we throw at him he seems to thrive under. We pitched him in at the deep end in a 50k handicap and he won that, and then was just touched off in another 50k handicap off 9lbs higher the last day. He was 18 lengths clear of the third there, so it looks pretty solid form and we’re confident there is loads more to come. He’s one of the horses in the yard we’re very excited about.
She was obviously very disappointing at Leopardstown, but came back lame so you can put a line through that. We know she’s much better than that and the Mares’ Novice looks the likely target for her. She’s in much better form now and we’re hoping she can run well in what looks a pretty open contest.
He has a couple of options in the handicaps at this stage, but we have decided if it will be the Martin Pipe or the Coral Cup yet. We won’t make a decision till much nearer the time, but he’ll definitely be part of the Cheltenham team that’s for sure.
Theatre Of War
He’s likely to run in the Fred Winter and although he’s still a maiden he ran really well the last day at Leopardstown. He was just touched off there and that should set him up nicely for this off a mark of 126. Fingers crossed that gets him into the race and we’re looking forward to running him.
He’ll also go for the Fred Winter. He won a maiden at Limerick over Christmas and then was impressive the last day at the same course and distance. He was a bit unlucky the race in between those where a faller blocked his momentum at a crucial time, so he’s been in good form for a little while now.
The trip at Cheltenham might be a little on the short side, but he should run a nice race all the same.