Henry de Bromhead hoping for better Cheltenham ground for Identity Thief

Six-year-old has strong claims for Champion Hurdle with Faugheen now ruled out

Henry de Bromhead is hoping for better ground in the  Champion Hurdle for Identity Thief. Photograph: Inpho

Henry de Bromhead is hoping for better ground in the Champion Hurdle for Identity Thief. Photograph: Inpho

 

Henry de Bromhead is hoping for better ground in the Champion Hurdle for Identity Thief.

Already a Grade One winner this season in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle, he came off second best in a thrilling battle with Nichols Canyon in the Ryanair Hurdle at Leopardstown.

Given a break since then, the six-year-old is back in top form with De Bromhead excited about his prospects with Faugheen no longer in contention.

“He’s in really good form and I’m delighted with him,” said De Bromhead.

“The race has opened up (with Faugheen out). I’m delighted with him at home and he seems in good form. Hopefully we’ll get there and we’ll see how we go.

“He had his three runs up to Christmas and had a tough race at Christmas. It was nice to back off him for a few weeks. He looks well and seems well.

“The day he won in Down Royal it was pretty nice ground and presumably we’ll get that, although it’s been a different year this year.

“When he won his bumper it was good ground and he was very impressive that day.”

When told Paul Nicholls had flagged Identity Thief up as the one to beat at a Cheltenham preview after racing at Ascot, he said: “That’s always nice to hear. He knows his stuff.”

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