Punchestown, Cork, and Navan tips: Envoi Allen can pass stiffest test to date

Punchestown, Cork, and Navan tips: Envoi Allen can pass stiffest test to date

Envoi Allen and Rachael Blackmore jumping to win for trainer Henry de Bromhead at Down Royal in October. Picture: Healy Racing

With a run under his belt five weeks ago, Envoi Allen might have the edge over Allaho, also owned by Cheveley Park Stud, and Fakir D’oudairies in a cracking renewal of the Grade One John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase tomorrow.

A horse with a huge reputation, his bumper and hurdling days yielded a win in the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham and three Grade One wins over flights, including the Royal Bond and the Ballymore at Cheltenham.

Always considered a future chasing star, his career over fences started stylishly, winning at Down Royal before bagging the Drinmore (Grade One) at Fairyhouse and a Grade Three at Punchestown en route to Cheltenham.

But, transferred from Gordon Elliott’s Cullentra base to Henry de Bromhead’s in the build-up to the festival, he came unstuck when, sent off 4-9 favourite, he crashed out of the Marsh Novices Chase at the fourth.

He was then pulled up, lame, in a Grade One novice at Punchestown, an unsatisfactory end to his novice campaign.

Envoi Allen reappeared in the Grade Two Join Racing TV Chase at Down Royal five weeks ago, enjoyed a solo in front, jumping well, and coasted home a 22-length winner from Echoes Of Family.

Tomorrow, Envoi Allen will face the biggest test of his career, in a 10-strong field which includes seven Willie Mullins-trained contenders, a contingent headed by 174-rated Allaho, so impressive when landing the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham, when slamming another of tomorrow’s runners, Fakir D’oudairies, by 12 lengths.

Dropping back to two miles, Allaho finished a creditable second to stable-companion Chacun Pour Soi on his final start of the season, at this track.

Rated 11lb superior to Envoi Allen, Allaho might lack the fitness edge of both his chief rival and Fakir D’oudairies, winner of the Clonmel Oil Chase on his seasonal bow.

The field also includes the Mullins-trained Kemboy, a multiple Grade One winner, last seen when fourth to Clan Des Obeaux in the Punchestown Gold Cup in April.

A dual Grade One winner as a novice, the Willie Mullins-trained Energumene will enter open company for the first time in the Grade Two Kerry Group Hilly Way Chase in Cork tomorrow.

Unbeaten in four starts over fences, including the Irish Arkle and the Ryanair Gold Cup at Fairyhouse, but forced to miss Cheltenham due to a slight setback, he’ll be expected to prove his star potential by accounting for Henry de Bromhead’s Notebook, winner of the Fortria at Navan on his return to action.

Sean O’Keeffe will be looking forward to action at the Mallow track, with a star-studded book of rides for Willie Mullins, highlighted by Energumene but also including exciting hurdling recruits Kilcruit and Dysart Dynamo, and Concertista on her fencing bow.

Meanwhile, before tomorrow’s top-notch fare at both venues, we have action in Navan today, featuring Grade Two and Grade Three events.

Although also declared for Cork tomorrow, Gordon Elliott’s exciting four-year-old filly Riviere D’etel will be expected to follow-up her spectacular defeat of Cape Gentleman at Punchestown, in the Grade Three Klairon Davis Novice Chase.

Meanwhile the Elliott-trained Ginto, winner of a course and distance maiden hurdle last month, is preferred to Joseph O’Brien’s Naas winner Eric Bloodaxe in the Grade Two Navan Novice Hurdle.

SELECTIONS 

NAVAN SATURDAY 

John Ryan 

11.30. Prevaricate 

12.00. Fantasio D’alene 

12.33. Ginto 

1.08. Damalisque 

1.43. Riviere D’etel (Nap) 

2.18. Ashdale Bob 

2.53. Conflated 

3.28. Killer Mode 

Next Best 

11.30. Whatdeawant 

12.00. Highland Charge 

12.33. Eric Bloodaxe 

1.08. Folcano 

1.43. Dancing On My Own 

2.18. Farouk D’alene 

2.53. Wa Wa 

3.28. Itswhatunitesus 

PUNCHESTOWN SUNDAY 

John Ryan 

11.55. Crowns Major 

12.25. Buttons And Bows 

12.55. Auckland 

1.25. Party Central 

2.00. Envoi Allen 

2.35. Ferny Hollow 

3.05. Glenquin Castle 

3.35. The Flier Begley 

Next Best 

11.55. Top Bandit 

12.25. Explosive Boy 

12.55. Tullyreevy Lad 

1.25. Choice Of Words 

2.00. Allaho 

2.35. Coeur Sublime 

3.05. Sovereign Gold 

3.35. Glengouly 

CORK SUNDAY 

John Ryan 

11.40. Iberique Du Seuil 

12.10. Kilcruit 

12.40. Dysart Dynamo 

1.10. Churchstonewarrior 

1.45. Concertista 

2.20. Energumene (Nap) 

2.50. Mighty Meggsie 

3.20. Temptationinmilan 

Next Best 

11.40. Champion Green 

12.10. Harry Alonso 

12.40. Flame Bearer 

1.10. Idas Boy 

1.45. Magic Daze 

2.20. Notebook 

2.50. An Epic Song 

3.20. More Wine Lilly

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