Envoi Allen tunes up for Cheltenham treble tilt with simple win in Killiney Novice Chase… with trainer Gordon Elliott ready to ramp up training plan
- Gordon Elliott will ramp up Envoi Allen’s training schedule ahead of Cheltenham
- Gelding will be trying to win for a third time at the Festival, taking place in March
- Envoi Allen made it 11 wins from 11 races in the Killiney Novice Chase on Sunday
- Main rival Asterion Forlonge fell at first fence, leaving Jack Kennedy an easy ride
Trainer Gordon Elliott will ramp up Envoi Allen’s training schedule to give the gelding a steelier edge before trying to win for a third time at the Cheltenham Festival.
The Jack Kennedy-ridden odds-on favourite made it 11 victories from 11 races under rules with a three-and-a-half length win from Fils D’Oudairies in the Killiney Novice Chase at Punchestown on Sunday.
But the race was effectively over as a meaningful test for Envoi Allen when chief rival Asterion Forlonge, the 2020 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle fourth, fell at the first fence.
Gordon Elliott (R) gives a thumbs-up after watching Envoi Allen romp to a win at Punchestown
That left Envoi Allen in the lead and Kennedy only had to apply minimum pressure to the accelerator to win.
Envoi Allen, who is odds-on favourite for the Marsh Novices’ Chase, has now won three novice chases without breaking sweat.
Elliott said: ‘We will have to up his work a bit before Cheltenham.
‘He does everything so easily at home and there is plenty of improvement in him. It was a bit of an anti-climax when the other horse went at the first.’
Kennedy added that Envoi Allen had shown his professionalism by not being distracted as Asterion Forlonges and Sempo — who he had brought down — ran loose throughout the race.
Jack Kennedy rode Envoi Allen to a routine win and now attention will turn to Cheltenham
Kennedy said: ‘The loose horses had my heart in my mouth a few times. They crossed over me, but Envoi Allen is so honest, he never took his eye off the fence. He’s unbelievable and a very clever horse.’
Envoi Allen holds entries for next month’s Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown, but Elliott said those were insurance in case Irish horses are prevented from travelling to Britain because of Covid-19. The intention is to head straight to the Cheltenham Festival in March.
Meanwhile, Dreal Deal will go for one of the novice hurdles at the Festival after a last-to-first home straight surge for trainer Ronan McNally and jockey Denis O’Regan to win the Grade Two Sky Bet Moscow Flyer Novice Hurdle.