UNBEATEN superstar Envoi Allen will head straight to the Cheltenham Festival without another run.
The Gordon Elliott-trained seven-year-old is said to be ‘bouncing’ after his easy win in the Grade 3 Killiney Novice Chase at Punchestown earlier this month.
His task was made easier by the early fall of main market rival Asterion Forlonges in that race – but he was still able to concede 11lb to some smart horses without breaking sweat.
The Cheveley Park-owned gelding is already a dual Festival winner, having won the Champion Bumper and Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle in the past two seasons.
And he is the red-hot favourite to complete a memorable Cheltenham hat-trick in the Marsh Novices’ Chase.
He is top price 10-11 jolly for the Marsh with Coral and Ladbrokes, with several other bookies a shade shorter at 4-5.
He had the option to run at next month’s prestigious Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown.
But connections have opted to keep him fresh and head straight to Cheltenham without another run.
Chris Richardson, Cheveley Park’s managing director, said: “It was a shame that the horse was never able to have a proper race at Punchestown.
“That’s what we really wanted, rather than what ended up being a piece of work really.
“It was a bit of anti-climax in the end. We were hoping we’d have a bit of a race on our hands, but sadly it didn’t happen.”
He continued: “He came out of the race fine and bouncing – he was having a ball in his field the next day, having a roll in the mud.
“He’s a very intelligent horse – he knows exactly what he’s up to – and we’re lucky to have him.
“Cheltenham is the next stop.”
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