Minella Indo prevails in thriller in Tramore

Henry De Bromhead claims emotional win on day his son Jack is honoured

Minella Indo repelled a challenge from Stattler in a thrilling finish to the Savills New Year’s Day Chase at Tramore.

Willie Mullins has farmed the New Year’s Day feature in winning eight of the last 10 runnings, but Minella Indo’s battling display in the hands of Rachael Blackmore ended the Closutton handler’s five-year stranglehold on the Grade Three contest and gave Henry De Bromhead his second win in the race after Champagne West’s success in 2017.

Winner of the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2021 and runner-up to stablemate A Plus Tard 12 months later, Minella Indo was always to the fore, close to the coattails of outsider Roi Mage in the two-mile-six-furlong event, with the Paul Townend-ridden 4-5 favourite Stattler tracking not far behind.

It was not until the final circuit when the race developed into a contest and with Townend coaxing Stattler into challenging at the second last, it was left to the big two in the market to fight out the finish.


Although momentarily headed on the run-in by the strong-staying National Hunt Chase winner, Blackmore conjured up more from her ever-willing mount inside the final 50 yards to regain the advantage in the shadow of the winning post.

It has been a frustrating Christmas period on the track for De Bromhead with A Plus Tard ruled out of the Savills Chase at Leopardstown with a late setback, while another of his stable stars, Bob Olinger, failed to sparkle when upped to three miles in the Christmas Hurdle.

And on a day when Tramore honoured De Bromhead’s son Jack – who died in a pony racing accident in September – with the running of the Jack De Bromhead Memorial Maiden Hurdle, the Knockeen handler was understandably emotional after seeing his dual Cheltenham Festival winner return to top form.

He said: “It’s an emotional day when you see pictures of Jack up around the place. Often these things don’t happen in racing, but to win the big race here at our local track on this day is fantastic.

“I’m delighted for Indo and [owners] the Maloneys and for everyone. It’s brilliant to see the crowd here and the roar he got was amazing. We know everyone is thinking of us and it’s just brilliant. The support from everyone really helps us through it.

“The horse deserved it and Rachael was brilliant on him. She gave him a really good ride and he jumped brilliant apart from the last possibly. He just got under it a bit. I thought we were going to get done but Rachael really got him over the line, it was fantastic.

“We will enjoy today, this is a fantastic race to win. He hasn’t won since the Gold Cup. We were thinking about the Irish Gold Cup but we might just head straight to Cheltenham, we will see.”

Betfair cut the winner to 20-1 from 33-1 for a second success in the blue-riband race in March.