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De Bromhead on track for Cheltenham after Thurles double

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Rachael Blackmore. Photo: Racing Post

Rachael Blackmore. Photo: Racing Post

Racing Post

Rachael Blackmore. Photo: Racing Post

A Thurles double for Henry de Bromhead yesterday served notice that the Waterford handler's horses are in rude health ahead of next week's annual raid on Cheltenham.

Of his two winners, Eklat De Rire was his most eye-catching in the staying maiden hurdle with the 6/5 market leader making every post a winning one under assured handling from Rachael Blackmore.

All About Joe stayed on to give chase going to the final flight but never looked like pegging back the favourite which only had to be shaken up briefly for a cosy six-length success.

The winner had chased home Foxy Jacks on his 'track' debut at Punchestown last month having cost £110,000 after landing a point-to-point at Dromahane last November.

Earlier, the trainer initiated his brace with the success of Kavanaghs Corner (5/1) in the Urlingford Rated Chase.

The 11-year-old jumped the last upsides long-time leader Western Sea and Crazyheart, before Daniel Holden drove his mount into the lead half-way up the run-in to prevail by two-and-three-quarter lengths from Crazyheart.

The action opened with a winning debut over fences for Jessica Harrington's former smart hurdler Emily Moon in the mares beginners chase over two miles and two furlongs.

Sent off the evens favourite, despite her inexperience over the larger obstacles, the daughter of Beneficial was settled behind the leaders by Robbie Power before taking the lead at the third last and asserting up the straight to gallop 13 lengths clear.

Most impressive winner of the day was Gavin Cromwell's Bay Ambition (4/1) which took the staying handicap hurdle by a whopping 28 lengths in the hands of Jonathan Moore, while the Joe Murphy-trained John Cannon sprang a 20/1 surprise under Evan Dwan in the closing bumper.

Meanwhile, Jamie Codd is looking forward to renewing his association with Le Breuil at Cheltenham.

The Wexford amateur teamed up with Ben Pauling's charge to capture last year's National Hunt Chase and will this year bid to steer him to Festival glory in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup.

Codd has won the Kim Muir on a record four occasions - aboard Character Building (2009), Junior (2011), The Package (2015) and Cause of Causes (2016) - and is hoping Le Breuil can add to his tally.

"He gave me a great day last year and I'm looking forward to riding him again," said Codd. "I rode him in the Becher and ran a good race that day (finished seventh). Ben's horses seem to be in good form, so fingers crossed."

Le Breuil is a best-priced 10/1 joint-favourite for the Kim Muir, the same price as Gordon Elliott's Ravenhill.

Irish Independent