Envoi Allen heads Marsh hopefuls

Envoi Allen heads 14 confirmations for the Marsh Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham next week.

The unbeaten star was in the headlines last week when owners Cheveley Park Stud decided to move him to Henry de Bromhead’s yard in the wake of the Gordon Elliott case.

Already a dual winner at the Festival, he is likely to be one of the shortest-priced favourites of the meeting.

Willie Mullins has left in Monkfish for Thursday’s Grade One, but he is expected to take up his option in the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase over the longer trip of three miles the previous day.

Asterion Forlonge, Blackbow and Franco De Port are Mullins’ other Marsh possibles.

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Dan Skelton’s Shan Blue, a Grade One winner already this season, and Nicky Henderson’s Chantry House, lead the home team.

Chatham Street Lad, an impressive handicap winner at Cheltenham in December, is also engaged.

All the major players are still in the Parnell Properties Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle, better known as the Dawn Run.

They include Roseys Hollow, Royal Kahala, Gauloise, Hook Up and The Glancing Queen.

There are 31 left in the Pertemps Final – with the weights currently headed by The Bosses Oscar, now in the care of Denise Foster, and Harry Fry’s veteran Unowhatimeanharry.

Fergal O’Brien, still searching for his first Festival winner, has high hopes for Imperial Alcazar.

David Pipe’s Brinkley, Henderson’s Champagne Platinum and Tom George’s Come On Teddy have also all stood their ground.

The Paddy Power Plate has some quality at the head of the weights – which are topped by the Venentia Williams-trained Fanion D’Estruval.

Henderson’s duo of Top Notch and Caribean Boy, Sue Smith’s Midnight Shadow and O’Brien’s Paint The Dream all have smart form to their name.

In total 36 have been left in, and theyalso  include the Emmet Mullins-trained The Shunter – winner of the Morebattle Hurdle at Kelso and chasing a £100,000 bonus. He still holds several entries through the week.

Double Shuffle leads the way in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup – which this year sees professional jockeys take the place of amateurs.

Kerry Lee’s Storm Control, the Philip Hobbs-trained Deise Aba and the ante-post favourite, Jonjo O’Neill’s Time To Get Up, are among the 31 remaining.

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