Tag Archive for: Hiddenvalley Lake

Hiddenvalley Lake lands smooth Boyne Hurdle success

Hiddenvalley Lake made a successful return to the smaller obstacles in the William Hill Boyne Hurdle at Navan.

Henry de Bromhead’s chestnut had a good reputation as a novice hurdler but did not quite deliver at the highest level when ninth in the Albert Bartlett at Cheltenham last March.

He started out over fences this time around and contested a beginners chase at this venue in December, where he fell three from home.

Subsequently switched back to hurdling, the seven-year-old always looked happy in the Grade Two event, as he travelled well under Darragh O’Keeffe in the absence of the suspended Rachael Blackmore.

Over the penultimate flight, he already looked the winner and from there he only strengthened his position to triumph by three and a quarter lengths as the 3-1 favourite.

Robbie Power, racing manager to owners Robour, said: “It was a good performance. The plan was obviously to go chasing with him this year and he fell here in a beginners chase before Christmas.

“It took him a little bit of time to recover after that, and it was getting a bit late in the season, so we thought we’d come back over hurdles and then probably go chasing next season.

“He’s done plenty of schooling back over hurdles and Henry’s done a lot of work with him. He’s a very good jumper of a fence and was just unfortunate the last day.

“He loves heavy ground and Darragh said the further he went, the better he jumped. When they stepped on the pace, he jumped better up the straight.

“We knew he’d stay well over that trip and that ground probably suited him as well. It’s great to get that and we’ll see where we go next.

“He stays three miles as well and we’ll have a look at all the big festivals coming up and see what the options are.

“He’s a fresh horse, he’s only had the two runs and that’s his first completed run this season.”

Charles Byrne’s Blazing Khal won the Boyne Hurdle last season before injury halted his campaign in the spring, and the bay returned to action to contest the same race again.

This time, he was pulled up two fences from home by rider Philip Byrnes and was reported to be showing some abnormalities in the post-race veterinary check.

“He’s not right, I think he has a fibrillating heart,” said Byrnes.

“We’ve had a bad rocky road with him, but we’ll see.”

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Festival hope Hiddenvalley Lake bids to book Albert Bartlett ticket

Leading Cheltenham Festival contender Hiddenvalley Lake follows a tried and tested route for Henry de Bromhead in the Surehaul Mercedes-Benz Novice Hurdle at Clonmel on Thursday.

The Knockeen handler first claimed the Grade Three prize in 2017 with the top-class Monalee before he went on to finish second to Penhill in the Albert Bartlett the following month.

De Bromhead made it back-to-back wins at Clonmel 12 months later with Chris’s Dream, while in 2019 his subsequent Gold Cup hero Minella Indo filled the runner-up spot behind Allaho before reversing that form to strike Festival gold.

Shantreusse was unable to make an impact in the Albert Bartlett after scoring at Clonmel last season, but hopes are high Hiddenvalley Lake can cement his claims for the showpiece meeting by making it three from three over hurdles.

“He’s a lovely horse and we’re looking forward to running him in Clonmel,” said De Bromhead.

“He won well in Cork and looks a real stayer.”

Hiddenvalley Lake was a £200,000 purchase for owners Robcour after being carried out on his sole appearance in the point-to-point sphere.

He made a winning debut under rules at Naas in November before successfully stepping up in class and distance to lift a Grade Three prize over three miles at Cork the following month.

The son of Sholokhov is the 4-1 favourite with Sky Bet for the Albert Bartlett ahead of his attempt to give weight and a beating to seven rivals in County Tipperary.

Willie Mullins has a good record in Thursday's Clonmel feature
Willie Mullins has a good record in Thursday’s Clonmel feature (Lorraine O’Sullivan/PA)

His biggest threat appears to be Corbetts Cross, who makes his first appearance for Emmet Mullins after winning a point-to-point, a bumper and two novice hurdles for Eugene O’Sullivan.

De Bromhead has a second string to his bow in the form of Monty’s Star, while Willie Mullins – whose seven previous winners of the race include three subsequent Festival winners in Cooldine (2008), Don Poli (2014) and Allaho – relies on recent Cork winner Walk In The Brise.

Search For Glory (Gordon Elliott), Granny Lowrie (Pat Doyle), Kalanisi Dubh (Seamus Fahey) and Farceur De Sivola (John Ryan) complete the field.

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