First, your profile is great, so don't take this as a critique of your ability to succeed in HEP-th. But this is my impression of the state of things for HEP-th applications.
There is no such thing as a safety in HEP-th, if you're adamant that's what you want to be doing (and this singular focus is detectable in your application materials). Schools have very limited places for HEP-th (both due to funding and the higher time commitment from an advisor in training a HEP-th student), and for most schools there are years where they know there are no spots for a new HEP-th student (no matter the background), and will save you the nightmare of not having an advisor available by not admitting you in the first place.
Flexibility (cosmology and condensed matter theory are similar in many ways) will significantly improve your chances at admission, but be sure it's real flexibility or you might be forced into a PhD in something you don't really want to do*. Otherwise, I would apply to as many schools as possible--admission is one thing, but you'll probably also want to hear some interest from the HEP-th faculty before accepting, and you'll have a better chance of that by increasing the number of applications you submit.
Lots of people want to do HEP-th. Know that even if you do get admission, you still will likely have to prove yourself to an advisor for him to bother with you. Then, if you want to continue in physics, know that about 1/10 students who graduate with a PhD in HEP-th manage to find a postdoc...and most postdocs don't ever get a faculty position.
*Footnote: You might also consider applied mathematics departments, if you're more comfortable leaning the other direction. I tend to think fundamental theory kind of straddles the line between a math and physics department (and indeed, on rare occasions a HEP-th researcher can be found in applied mathematics). Members of the community, if forced to move off the line, seem equally likely to tend towards one or the other.