A prominent figure in Irish racing, Henry de Bromhead has moved towards the top of the training ladder, amongst the very best, and that’s not just in Ireland but also in Great Britain. He’s been well backed, bought some excellent horses and is now reaping the rewards of that.
Success has come on the biggest stage, with Grade One success in Britain and Ireland, including the Grand National in 2021 with Minella Times, while also enjoying significant race victories at the Cheltenham Festival. Some trainers get wins at these meetings, but in the minor races, that isn’t the case for de Bromhead, who wins the biggest and best races at the biggest and best meetings.
The first Grand National win for de Bromhead will be forever in the history books, though not because of him. When Minella Times crossed the line in the first place, he was ridden by stable jockey Rachael Blackmore. She became the first female jockey to win the Grand National by winning the race and fitting that she did it for her boss and biggest supporter.
Henry De Bromhead Grand National Wins
- 2021 - Minella Times ridden by Rachael Blackmore
|2023||Ain't That A Shame||17||-||Rachael Blackmore|
|2023||Gabbys Cross||Fence 15 - Fell||-||Peter Carberry|
|2022||Minella Times||Fence 9 - Fell||-||Rachael Blackmore|
|2022||Poker Party||Fence 26 - Pulled Up||-||Robbie Power|
|2021||Minella Times||1||£500,000||Rachael Blackmore|
|2021||Balko Des Flos||2||£200,000||Aidan Coleman|
|2021||Chris's Dream||Fence 27 - Unseated Rider||-||Darragh O’Keefe|
|2019||Valseur Lido||10||£5,000||Rachael Blackmore|
|2018||Valseur Lido||8||£15,000||Keith Donoghue|
|2017||Stellar Notion||Fence 13 - Pulled Up||-||David Mullins|
|2016||Home Farm||Fence 21 - Pulled Up||-||Andrew Lynch|
|2014||Buckers Bridge||11||-||Andrew Lynch|
First Grand National Winner
Everyone who is lucky enough to win the Grand National will always remember it. For Henry de Bromhead, things are no different, although he didn’t have quite the same experience as others who have won the race in the past.
The 2021 Grand National, won by Minella Times, was run behind closed doors, so no fans were on course to greet the winning horse, trainer and rider in the winner’s enclosure. This may have taken some of the shine off the race for de Bromhead, but even with that, it is still a moment he will never forget.
In terms of the race itself, you could have called Minella Times the winner from some way out. He was jumping brilliantly and edging closer to the leaders at each fence. He was second when four fences from home, and when they turned for home, he was in the lead.
Balko Des Flos was closing but made a mistake at the final fence, which gave Blackmore the time she needed to kick away, eventually winning by six and a half lengths.
A 1-2 In The 2021 Grand National
The success of Minella Times will be remembered, but let’s not forget what else Henry de Bromhead did that year because he also trained the second horse home, Balko Des Flos. He was a 100/1 outsider with very little chance of success, but de Bromhead preserved with him and let him take his chance in the race.
He was rewarded, with the horse running very well, and would have been much closer at the finish had he not made a mistake at the final fence. It is a case of what could have been for him, but second is very respectable in a race of this nature and rounded off an excellent result for de Bromhead.
Cheltenham Festival Success
It’s not just at the Grand National where de Bromhead has picked up big success. He’s done so at the Cheltenham Festival, too, with a variety of runners, and these include the biggest races of the festival. In 2021, de Bromhead had the best festival of his career. He was close to winning the top trainer title at the festival and was in the lead until a last race winner for Willie Mullins tied the pair and put Mullins ahead based on having more placed horses. In total, de Bromhead had six winners that year, including Honeysuckle winning the Champion Hurdle and Minella Indo winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
In 2021 and 2022, de Bromhead won back-to-back Champion Hurdles with Honeysuckle and back-to-back Gold Cups with Minella Indo and A Plus Tard. Sizing Europe, who won the Arkle in 2010, was the first Cheltenham Festival win of de Bromhead’s career.
Relationship With Rachael Blackmore
The careers of Henry de Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore have been on a very similar upward curve, so it is no surprise to know that they work very closely together, with Blackmore being the stable jockey at de Bromhead’s yard.
They have both been in and around racing for some years, but as they’ve grown closer together in recent times, their success has increased dramatically. To be a successful trainer, you need to have a good jockey working for you, and to be a good jockey, you need the backing of a good trainer. It is fair to say that the situation between this pair is perfect for them both, Henry keeps training the horses, and Rachael keeps riding them to success.
Famous Horses Trained By Henry de Bromhead
Here are some of the bigger names trained by Henry de Bromhead during his career.
A Plus Tard
Balko Des Flos
Put The Kettle On