Put The Kettle On set to tackle Altior at Kempton

Henry de Bromhead is undeterred by the prospect of taking on Altior with his Arkle winner Put The Kettle On in Kempton’s Desert Orchid Chase.

The mare returned with a gutsy win in the Shloer Chase back at Cheltenham in November, and is set for another trip across the Irish Sea from De Bromhead’s County Waterford base on December 27.

“I’d say we’re pretty much going there – the last time I spoke with the owners we pretty much confirmed it, and I don’t see any reason to change, but obviously we’d have preferred Altior to have run in the Tingle Creek,” said De Bromhead.

“Her novice campaign was brilliant. She came from the summer season, and plenty have done it, but you are always under the radar when you do that. We had Notebook in the race as well, and he had won two Grade Ones on his way to the Arkle, so everyone was focused on him.

“To be fair to the mare, she’d won over course and distance and she loves it there. She had a fantastic year – and to go back and put up such a tough performance in the Shloer, she’s brilliant, and we’re lucky to have her.

“She’s very tough – bar coming to the last I could never see her winning the Shloer, but it’s testament to how tough she is and a brilliant ride from Aidan (Coleman).

“He has a great partnership with her, so he’ll be riding her again.”

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Special Tiara was twice a winner of the Desert Orchid Chase
Special Tiara was twice a winner of the Desert Orchid Chase (John Walton/PA)

Put The Kettle On is yet another classy two-mile chaser off the De Bromhead conveyor belt which includes two champion chasers in Sizing Europe and Special Tiara, twice a winner of the Desert Orchid.

He added: “Special Tiara was brilliant. The one that stands out is when Barry Geraghty rode him (2014) – the jumps the pair of them put in together were phenomenal really.

“There were ooos and ahhs from the crowd – they were incredible. He was brilliant, he won a Champion Chase and was placed year after year.”

Closer to home, De Bromhead will also be overseeing a strong raiding party on Leopardstown’s big Christmas meeting. But stable star Honeysuckle will not be there, instead waiting for the Irish Champion Hurdle.

Honeysuckle will not be running over Christmas
Honeysuckle will not be running over Christmas (PA Wire)

“Honeysuckle had the entry for Christmas, but it was only in case something silly happened in the Hatton’s Grace,” added De Bromhead.

“She’s definitely aiming towards the Irish Champion Hurdle at the Dublin Festival.

“Notebook will run – all being well he’s in great form and we’ll have a go at him (Chacun Pour Soi) on the 27th at Leopardstown (Paddy’s Rewards Club Chase).

“I had to put his run at Cheltenham down to how hard a race he had in the Irish Arkle with Cash Back, because they both tailed off.

“He came back all guns blazing the other day at Naas. I know he can jump a little right, but I don’t think you can blame his run in the Arkle just on that.

“He has run twice there and was possibly out of his depth the first year over hurdles, so I don’t want to say he doesn’t suit Cheltenham – I just think it was the hard race in the Irish Arkle.

“He was a dual Grade One winner last year, so he’d be bang there with the other good two-milers I’ve trained. He’s got that crazy streak jumping that a lot seem to have, and it really suits him. He’s rated over 160 now, so he’s bang there with them.”

With Minella Indo a hot favourite for the Savills Chase over three miles, he is likely to be joined by stablemate A Plus Tard.

“It’s something I just need to confirm with his owners, but the last time we spoke we were thinking of stepping him up in trip,” De Bromhead said of the latter.

“We’ll be monitoring the ground as well – if it was very soft we might reconsider the two-mile race he won last year.

“At the moment, we’re learning towards the three-mile race.”

Notebook puts down Champion Chase marker at Naas

Notebook bounced back to winning form in the Grade Two Poplar Square Chase at Naas.

Henry de Bromhead’s charge was a dual Grade One winner last term, but he had disappointed when sent off the 5-2 favourite for the Arkle on his final start of last term, finishing a well-beaten sixth.

He looked to face a stern test on his return with Fakir D’oudairies and Cash Back, who chased him home in his two top-level victories, once again in opposition.

Notebook was a comfortable winner
Notebook was a comfortable winner (Alan Magee/PA)

However, 11-10 favourite Cash Back sprinted to the first fence and crashed out, leaving outsider Djingle to set a strong gallop as Rachael Blackmore allowed Notebook (7-2) to get into his own rhythm at the back of the field.

Notebook and Fakir D’oudairies asserted their authority with two to jump, but Blackmore’s mount shaded the lead with a fine leap at the penultimate obstacle and strode away after the last to record a 12-length victory.

De Bromhead said: “He was a little bit rusty over the first few, but then jumped really well and stayed at it really well. It’s good to see him back to form.

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“I’d say he’ll go to Leopardstown at Christmas. He loves it around there and has won two Grade Ones there.

“Rachael said he took a blow at the fourth-last and hopefully he’ll come on for it. I’m delighted with him.”

Paddy Power and Betfair quoted Notebook at 20-1 from 33-1 for the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

Call My Lyreen following his Grade Two success
Call My Lyreen following his Grade Two success (Alan Magee/PA)

Call Me Lyreen extended his winning run to three in the Old Persian At Glenview Stud Fishery Lane Hurdle – bringing up trainer Gordon Elliott’s 100th win of the season in the process.

Despite already registering victories at Tramore and Sligo, Call Me Lyreen was an 11-2 shot under Jack Kennedy with Gars En Noir the 11-10 market leader for Willie Mullins on his Irish debut.

The market leader was in the front rank throughout, but was beginning to toil at the top of the straight as Call My Lyreen moved through to challenge along with Wolf Prince.

That pair had it between them after jumping the penultimate flight, but Call Me Lyreen kept finding for pressure on the run to the line, eventually prevailing by a length and three-quarters.

Elliott, who was speaking away from the track, said: “He’s a lovely horse and is stepping forward all the time. We weren’t sure about the ground, but he coped with it well.

“He’ll have a little break and go for one of the novice hurdles at the Dublin Racing Festival.

“Keith (Donoghue) deserves a lot of credit as he’s done a lot of work with this horse at home.”

Kennedy added: “We went a good gallop the whole way. He was a bit behind the bridle, but turning into the straight he came alive and I probably got there a bit soon on him.

“He’s a nice horse and hopefully he can keep improving. The ground was a question mark, but he handled it well.”

Betfair make Call Me Lyreen a 25-1 chance for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March.