Henry de Bromhead’s Envoi Allen will target the Punchestown Gold Cup after his fantastic Ryanair Chase success.
The multiple Grade One winner disappointed in the King George VI Chase on Boxing Day day but was right back at his best at the Cheltenham Festival, defeating Nicky Henderson’s Shishkin by two and three-quarter lengths.
De Bromhead has drawn a line through the Kempton run and is now targeting the Cheveley Park-owned gelding at the Ladbrokes-sponsored showpiece on April 26.
“This is a definite aim for Envoi Allen,” he said of the Punchestown feature.
““He was a good winner of the Grade One in Down Royal (Ladbrokes Champion Chase) over three miles and his only blip this season was in the King George VI at Kempton.
“At that time, we had three horses that went over to England and ran appallingly, though Envoi and A Plus Tard had independent reasons for that. Still, they were all beaten after three fences.
“In fairness to Envoi, he has done very little wrong and was brilliant in the Ryanair. He seems really good since then.”
However, plans are still fluid for stablemate Minella Indo, who was pulled up with a lap to go when trying to reclaim his Cheltenham Gold Cup title.
“Minella Indo was very disappointing in the Gold Cup,” De Bromhead said.
“The start was a mess for him and nothing seemed to go right after that. He seems well again now and we’ve got three weeks to decide what we want to do.”
Envoi Allen and Minella Indo are part of a potentially stellar cast, which includes Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Galopin Des Champs (Willie Mullins) and runner-up Bravemansgame (Paul Nicholls). Shark Hanlon’s Hewick – who was still in the mix when departing two from home in the Gold Cup – is also engaged.