Sir Gerhard likely to follow Envoi Allen route to Cheltenham

The Dublin Racing Festival is the likely next port of call for Champion Bumper favourite Sir Gerhard.

A £400,000 purchase for Cheveley Park Stud after winning his only start in the point-to-point field, the five-year-old made the perfect start for his new connections when scoring by 14 lengths on his bumper debut at Down Royal in late October.

Gordon Elliott’s charge strengthened his position as ante-post favourite for the Festival in March with an impressive display in a Listed event at Navan on Friday, and an outing at Leopardstown is next on his agenda.

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Chris Richardson, managing director of owners Cheveley Park Stud, said: “He showed plenty of ability (at Navan) and we were very excited.

“Envoi Allen won the Listed race Navan before going to Leopardstown and then Cheltenham and I think we’ll probably follow the same route.”

The leading owners have plenty of high-profile horses entered over the upcoming festive period, headed by the brilliant and unbeaten Envoi Allen, who has options at Leopardstown and Limerick.

Elliott suggested he was likely to sidestep Christmas following his latest triumph in the Drinmore Novice Chase at Fairyhouse, but running plans have not yet been finalised.

Richardson said: “I haven’t really had a chance to discuss plans with the Thompsons (owners) or Gordon yet, so we’ll see.

“We’re in a fortunate position to be a bit spoilt choice and we’re just having to decide what goes where. That will unravel as we go through the next week.”

Envoi Allen has been faultless to date
Envoi Allen has been faultless to date (PA)

Ballyadam could carry the famous Cheveley Park colours in the Paddy Power Future Champions Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown on December 27.

Allaho appears unlikely to run in either the King George at Kempton or the Savills Chase at Leopardstown after disappointing on his seasonal reappearance in the John Durkan at Punchestown, but A Plus Tard looks set to tackle three miles for the first time in the Leopardstown race.

Richardson added: “The Royal Bond was the plan for Ballyadam, which he won nicely, and obviously the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham (is a target), but where we go before then I’m not quite sure yet.

“On the basis of Allaho’s last performance we’re probably going to have a bit of a regroup. He’s certainly not going to come to England for the King George and I think Willie (Mulins) will look for something closer to home.

“I think the trick with A Plus Tard is he likes to go left-handed. It looks like he’s going to step up to three miles and it might give us a few more options going forward.”

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