Ryanair name the Mares' Novice hurdle after Jack De Bromhead in poignant gesture
Michael O'Leary has made the poignant gesture of naming the mares' novice hurdle at the Cheltenham festival after the late Jack De Bromhead.
The race, which is ran on the third day of the Cheltenham festival, was previously known as the Ryanair mares' novice hurdle but will now go as the Jack de Bromhead Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle.
De Bromhead (13) passed away in September, after a tragic fall in a point-to-point race at Rossbeigh beach in Kerry. The accident shook Irish racing to the core but ever since, the horse-racing community has rallied around the De Bromhead family, as Jack's father Henry said last month.
"Obviously, we've had a lot of tough weeks," he told Racing TV.
"But the support from our family, friends and this industry, and all over, but especially our industry, has been unbelievable," he added.
🗣 "We've had a pretty tough time. The support from our family, friends & this industry has been unbelievable."
An absolute gentleman. It's fantastic to see you back on a racecourse @HenrydeBromhead - wishing you & your family all the very best ♥️ pic.twitter.com/ui0R1SfV6a
— Racing TV (@RacingTV) October 20, 2022
"Heather, Georgia, Mia and myself have been blown away by it and every bit of support we get, gives us a little bit of strength. And we feel incredibly lucky to have everyone around us."
The young man's memory has been kept alive by many within Irish racing - John 'Shark' Hanlon paid him an emotional tribute last month when he won the American Grand National with Hewick - and O'Leary's kind gesture, which removes Ryanair's name from the race title, is something that De Bromhead greatly appreciates.
He told Racing TV today that he plans to run as many horses as he can in the race to try and win it.
"Michael O'Leary has very kindly said that they are going to name the Mares Novice hurdle the 'Jack de Bromhead Mares Novice Hurdle', which is incredible.
"I'm hoping to do a Willie (Mullins) on it and practically fill the field if at all possible!"
"Michael O’Leary (of sponsors @Ryanair) has very kindly said they are going to name the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle the Jack de Bromhead Mares Novices’ Hurdle, which is incredible."
What a brilliant gesture ❤️
📰 @HenrydeBromhead | @CheltenhamRaces | @irishkor
— Racing TV (@RacingTV) November 8, 2022