Ballymore favourite JOURNEY WITH ME strikes on hurdles debut at Leopardstown

Racing TV published this video item, entitled “Ballymore favourite JOURNEY WITH ME strikes on hurdles debut at Leopardstown” – below is their description.

0:00 Full replay: Pigsback Maiden Hurdle

5:08 Post-race interview with Henry de Bromhead

The exciting Journey With Me is an unbeaten point and bumper winner and makes the perfect start over hurdles on his anticipated return, downing top-class bumper performer Kilcruit in what is traditionally a very warm maiden hurdle at the Leopardstown Christmas Festival.

Journey With Me represents exactly the same connections as top-class stablemate Bob Olinger – jockey Rachael Blackmore, trainer Henry de Bromhead and owners Robcour – and he started in exactly the same Gowran bumper on his sole start last season, winning by a huge margin in heavy ground.

Journey With Me is reported to want some give in the ground and that explains his belated absence after a dry autumn and early winter, but he certainly made up for lost time with an impressive performance – and, given De Bromhead’s style, could be in for significant improvement.

Journey With Me is now a best-priced 7/1 favourite to emulate stablemate Bob Olinger and land the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. Sir Gerhard is also a 7/1 chance currently, with Challow Hurdle winner Stage Star next best in the ante-post market at 8/1.

A trip to the Dublin Racing Festival in early February is likely to be the next port of call for Journey For Me, with De Bromhead mentioning the Grade One Nathaniel Lacy Novices’ Hurdle as a potential target. The race was won by Gaillard Du Mesnil last year and the 2m6f trip opens up both Ballymore and Albert Bartlett options if Cheltenham in March is on the agenda afterwards.

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