“He’s highly likely to go for the three-miler.”
Envoi Allen is skipping Fairyhouse and heading straight to Punchestown to set up a potentially mouthwatering clash against Monkfish.
Trainer Henry de Bromhead confirmed the news that the highly-rated novice chaser will be “scratched” from Sunday’s Underwriting Exchange Gold Cup at Fairyhouse.
A couple of weeks ago, Envoi Allen was odds-on favourite to make it three Cheltenham Festival wins-in-a-row as he lined up in the Marsh Novice’s Chase over 2m4f.
However, he suffered a surprise early fall, the first of his career, and lost his unbeaten run.
The former Gordon Elliott horse had initially been targeted at Fairyhouse but new trainer De Bromhead confirmed he will now line up at the Punchestown Festival at the end of April.
“Fairyhouse seemed a good idea for a while. But we’ve decided to let him settle back down and concentrate on Punchestown,” De Bromhead confirmed.
“He’ll be entered for both novice races, but he’s highly likely to go for the three-miler”.
If he was to line up in the three-mile Grade 1 Novices’ Chase at Punchestown, he could take on Brown Advisory winner Monkfish.
The Willie Mullins-trained horse is unbeaten over fences and the two horses are widely regarded as the most exciting National Hunt horses in training.
It was expected that both of them would go for separate races in Ireland until next year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup. So, it remains to be seen if Willie Mullins wants Monkfish in a battle a year out from that target.
If the clash does happen, it will be a nice bonus for Punchestown Racecourse in what is already looking like one of the strongest meetings in recent years.
Henry de Bromhead.
De Bromhead also confirmed his other Cheltenham star’s next targets.
A Plus Tard, runner-up to stablemate Minella Indo in the Gold Cup, will head to the Betway Bowl at Aintree due to his preference for left-handed tracks.
Fair play to Jack Kennedy.
From the low of Envoi Allen to the high of Minella Indo and everything in between.
Not to mention all the injuries he has had to come back from.
— Daniel Hussey (@DanielHussey2) March 19, 2021
Chris’s Dream, Balko Des Flos and Minella Times will represent De Bromhead in the Randox Health Grand National.
While the De Bromhead team says they will “strongly consider Punchestown” for Gold Cup winner Minella Indo.
The Co. Waterford trainer had six Cheltenham Festival winners last month but was still pipped to the leading trainers’ title by Willie Mullins, who won the last two races on Friday’s card to win on a count-back.
Of course, he also had the one-two in the Gold Cup as well as winning three of the four featured races, Honeysuckle (Champion Hurdle) and Put The Kettle On (Champion Chase), throughout the week.