ENVOI ALLEN made it a perfect eleven from eleven with a Punchestown Sunday stroll.
Gordon Elliott’s star was set for his biggest test to date on paper, but Asterion Forlonge’s dramatic unseat at the first ruined any pre-race scripts.
Willie Mullins’ quirky grey in receipt of 11lbs from 1-2 favourite Envoi Allen was fancied to make Elliott’s horse work like he’s yet to in ten starts.
But with stand-in jockey Danny Mullins unable to stay on board at the first fence, Envoi Allen was left with just two rivals.
And arguably Jack Kennedy’s hardest challenge was avoiding the two loose horses for the rest of the race.
Fils D’oudaries tried to make a race of it turning in, but was swatted away by the seven-year-old when asked to switch up a gear.
The bookies left him unchanged at a general 10-11 for the Marsh Novices’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
It takes a special horse to go into the Festival at odds-on so far from the race.
And now-retired legendary jockey Ruby Walsh was equally as impressed – although not with Asterion Forlonge’s leap at the first.
He said: “It’s just effortless for him. As soon as Jack Kennedy drops his arse on the saddle, this horse changes gears.”
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