Tag Archive for: Envoi Allen

Cheltenham Gold Cup is the next stop for A Plus Tard

A Plus Tard will head straight to the Cheltenham Gold Cup as connections aim to go one better than last year in the blue riband event.

The eight-year-old was the runner-up behind his Henry de Bromhead-trained stablemate Minella Indo in the contest last season, beaten just a length and a quarter.

Having won the Betfair Chase at Haydock on his return to action this season, he had to make do with second place when defending his Savills Chase crown over Christmas.

A Plus Tard was a facile winner of the Betfair Chase
A Plus Tard was a facile winner of the Betfair Chase (Simon Marper/PA)

“A Plus Tard has been a fantastic horse for us – he won the Savills in 2020, he was second in the Gold Cup, he beat Chacun Pour Soi over two miles at Leopardstown two years ago and he won the Betfair Chase,” said Richard Thompson of owners Cheveley Park Stud on Sky Sports Racing.

“He’ll just go straight to Cheltenham now, that’s the plan, that worked well (last year) so he won’t run again before Cheltenham.

“We will go there with a great chance I think and as long as the race pans out for us well, he’ll have a terrific chance hopefully.

“He’s definitely my personal favourite, I just love the way he’s so consistent.”

Thompson also confirmed plans for eight-year-old Allaho, who returned to action this season with an impressive victory in the Grade One John Durkan Chase at Punchestown in early December.

“There was a time when we thought he would potentially step up and start in the Gold Cup, but I think this year we’ll definitely go for the Ryanair with him,” he said.

Allaho winning the John Durkan
Allaho winning the John Durkan (Brian Lawless/PA)

“Allaho first time out for the last couple of seasons hasn’t really been on song, but he fought hard, stayed on well and we were really proud of him to win another Grade One like that.”

Cheveley Park also own Envoi Allen, who at one point enjoyed an 11-race unbeaten spell before falling in the Marsh Novices’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival last year.

His form has been sporadic since with the gelding beaten into sixth in the John Durkan, but he was a Grade One winner when last seen at Leopardstown over two miles and will now be aimed at either the Ryanair or Champion Chase at Cheltenham.

“A little bit of the gloss has come off Envoi in the recent months but he’s won his sixth Grade One,” said Thompson.

“The John Durkan was a bit disappointing to be frank, but he came back and he won over Christmas.

Envoi Allen winning the Paddy's Rewards Club Chase
Envoi Allen winning the Paddy’s Rewards Club Chase (Niall Carson/PA)

“It was a three-runner race, Chacun Pour Soi got taken out of the race in the morning but there you go, he won his sixth Grade One but he’s a horse that there’s perhaps a slight question mark over at the moment.

“He’s won us a Ballymore, he’s won us a Champion Bumper – he owes us nothing. He’s got an entry for the Champion Chase and the Ryanair, he could go for either.

“We’ll look at the situation nearer the time most probably, I don’t think he’ll run again before Cheltenham. At the moment I think it’s 50-50, Ryanair or Champion Chase.

“The Champion Chase is a real quality race this year. Shishkin looks a superb prospect and we’d have our work cut out against him. Envoi is quick, he jumps quickly and it could well suit him – we wouldn’t rule the Champion Chase out.”

Ferny Hollow is another horse to run in the red, white and blue silks of Cheveley Park and he too has his Cheltenham Festival target pencilled in after a win over the festive period.

Ferny Hollow, ridden by Paul Townend, goes on to win the Racing Post Novice Chase
Ferny Hollow, ridden by Paul Townend, goes on to win the Racing Post Novice Chase (Niall Carson/PA)

“He’s a horse that won the Champion Bumper, came back over hurdles and beat Bob Olinger and then had an issue so he was off the track for quite a while,” Thompson said.

“He’s won us two Grade Ones and at the moment he’s favourite for the Arkle. That’s the race we’re aiming for.”

On the same day as Ferny Hollow’s Leopardstown win, Sir Gerhard was also triumphant when taking a maiden hurdle by eight lengths and throwing his hat in the ring for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Festival.

“It looks like the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle for him but he’s up against Jonbon and Constitution Hill,” said Thompson.

“We’ve got a lot of faith in Sir Gerhard, he’s one of our top prospects.”

Minella Indo ‘shook’ after disappointing King George trip

Henry de Bromhead reports Minella Indo to have returned to Ireland “shook” following his disappointing effort in the Ladbrokes King George VI Chase.

Having made a promising start to his campaign when third at Down Royal, last season’s Cheltenham Gold Cup hero was well fancied for Kempton’s Boxing Day showpiece.

But after matching strides with defending champion Frodon for much of the way, Minella Indo soon weakened out of contention and was eventually pulled up by Rachael Blackmore.

Speaking at Leopardstown on Wednesday, De Bromhead said: “He was shook when he came off the lorry.

Henry de Bromhead with Minella Indo
Henry de Bromhead with Minella Indo (Morgan Treacy/PA)

“When he came back from Cheltenham, he was as burly as he always would be, (but) I’ve never seen him as tucked up and tightened up as he was the other day.

“We don’t have any obvious reason, but he definitely didn’t come back the way he would normally come back.

“I might have been trying to put a square peg into a round hole, I don’t know.

“The most important thing is to get him back now and get him as good as he can be for the spring, which is when he always seems to turn up in fairness to him.”

A Plus Tard chased home stablemate Minella Indo in the Gold Cup – and having made a spectacular comeback in the Betfair Chase at Haydock last month, the Cheveley Park Stud-owned gelding was a warm order to make it back-to-back wins in Leopardstown’s Savills Chase on Tuesday.

After eventually mastering long-time leader Kemboy, the seven-year-old was denied in the last stride by Galvin, but De Bromhead is taking the positives out of defeat.

“There’s not a bother on him – absolutely great. He ran a cracker and I was delighted with him,” the trainer added.

“The winner was very good and obviously Kemboy’s record around here is second to none. I was amazed he was short (in the betting) as he was, our fella.

“But he ran a cracker and jumped great – they’re the positives. We just didn’t win, sadly.”

Envoi Allen and Rachael Blackmore in action at Leopardstown
Envoi Allen and Rachael Blackmore in action at Leopardstown (Niall Carson/PA)

Envoi Allen got back on the winning trail for De Bromhead and Cheveley Park with a workmanlike display in Monday’s Paddy’s Rewards Club Chase.

While some were not all that impressed by the way he dispatched of the only other finisher Battleoverdoyen, De Bromhead said: “I thought he was really good – I was delighted with him.

“He jumped brilliant – he jumped so well at pace, I think.

“He beat a 155-rated horse and ran to his mark as far as I was concerned. He toughed it out and any time you win a Grade One is a good day.

“We’ll enter him for the Champion Chase and the Ryanair at Cheltenham and see nearer the time.”

The Waterford-based trainer also provided an update on last season’s Grand National hero Minella Times, who fell on his reappearance in the John Durkan at Punchestown.

He added: “Minella Times is good. I’d imagine we’ll enter him in the Thyestes Chase (at Gowran Park) and there is a two-mile-five-furlong handicap here (Leopardstown). He was second in that last year.

“We’ll look to run him in and around there and aim towards the National.”

Envoi Allen back in front at Leopardstown

Envoi Allen returned to winning ways when taking the Grade One Paddy’s Rewards Club Chase at Leopardstown for Rachael Blackmore and Henry de Bromhead.

The seven-year-old faced only two rivals as Chacun Pour Soi was a late injury-enforced absentee, leaving just Gordon Elliott’s Battleoverdoyen and Jessica Harrington’s Sizing Pottsie making up the three-horse field.

Starting as the 2-5 favourite, Envoi Allen was coming back in trip after disappointing when sixth in the John Durkan Chase at Punchestown earlier in the month.

Shoulder to shoulder with Battleoverdoyen around the final bend, Envoi Allen produced a good jump over the last fence and was able to shake off the challenger and prevail by a workmanlike seven and a half lengths.

Rachael Blackmore with Envoi Allen
Rachael Blackmore with Envoi Allen (Niall Carson/PA)

“We had a bit of a scare turning in, but he put his head down and galloped to the line,” Blackmore said.

“I think Henry was right to step him back (in trip). Obviously with Chacun Pour Soi being out it changed the dynamic of the race, but it’s great to get his head in front.

“He felt good today, they can only beat what they are up against I suppose and I’m happy with him.”

Bookmakers were generally unimpressed with the manner of victory, pushing the Cheveley Park Stud-owned winner out in the betting for both the Ryanair Chase and Champion Chase at Cheltenham in March.

Lame Chacun Pour Soi misses Leopardstown

Chacun Pour Soi was found to be lame on Monday morning leaving only three runners in the Paddy’s Rewards Club Chase at Leopardstown.

The five-time Grade One was all the rage for the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown, but the Willie Mullins-trained nine-year-old did not jump with his usual fluency and the writing was on the wall for his followers from some way out.

Connections had hoped he could put that disappointment behind him but redemption will have to wait for another day.

Chacun Pour Soi in full flight at Punchestown
Chacun Pour Soi in full flight at Punchestown (Niall Carson/PA)

The race now would appear to revolve around Henry de Bromhead’s Envoi Allen.

While his superstar status may be starting to wane, it will be fascinating to see if a return to the minimum trip proves to his liking.

Battleoverdoyen (Gordon Elliott) runs for the first time since winning at Galway in July, with Hilly Way Chase third Sizing Pottsie (Jessica Harrington) completing the quarter.

There is further Grade One action on the card in the shape of the Paddy Power Future Champions Novice Hurdle.

Mullins has three runners, headed by Grangee, a smart bumper performer who impressed on her jumping debut at Fairyhouse. Arctic Warrior and Farout also represent the Closutton yard.

Grangee winning at Punchestown
Grangee winning at Punchestown (Brian Lawless/PA)

Of Grangee, Patrick Mullins said: “She’s got good course form. She won here at the Dublin Racing Festival (in February) and the way she hurdled in Fairyhouse, it looked she could be a serious hurdler which would make her a serious contender.

“Farout will love the ground. He hurdled much slicker in Fairyhouse and ran well. We think he’s maybe better than his Fairyhouse run. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him involved.

“Arctic Warrior is kind of his own worst enemy. He’s not easy to ride. He’s a little bit difficult at home. He has the ability, but harnessing it in the right direction is the difficult part.”

De Bromhead’s Largy Debut, who shocked the long odds-on Kilcruit at Cork, and the Elliott-trained Mighty Potter are the market rivals to Grangee.

A Plus Tard leading strong Cheveley Park squad for Christmas engagements

A Plus Tard, Envoi Allen and Ferny Hollow could all be in Grade One action for Cheveley Park Stud at Leopardstown over the festive period – but Allaho is likely to miss out.

Henry de Bromhead’s A Plus Tard will be a hot favourite to make it back-to-back wins in the Savills Chase on December 28, following his scintillating comeback in the Betfair Chase at Haydock last month.

The previous afternoon his stablemate Envoi Allen could drop back in trip for the Paddy’s Rewards Club Chase after coming up short behind Allaho in the John Durkan at Punchestown, finishing a lacklustre sixth.

Both Envoi Allen and Allaho are also entered for the Ladbrokes King George VI Chase at Kempton, but Cheveley Park director Richard Thompson has ruled out running either in the Boxing Day showpiece.

Richard Thompson (right) with A Plus Tard at Haydock
Richard Thompson (right) with A Plus Tard at Haydock (Simon Marper/PA)

He said: “We were delighted to win the John Durkan with Allaho. He had the form, having won the Ryanair at Cheltenham last season, and he was very gritty on the day.

“I think he probably needs a break after that. Maybe he’ll have a run in February and then go on to Cheltenham, or maybe he’ll go straight to Cheltenham and then Aintree after that.

“We look at Allaho as a horse that will hopefully be around for another three or four years, so we’re not that fussed about running him too much.”

Envoi Allen headed the market against Allaho in John Durkan, and Thompson admits he might never fulfil the huge potential he showed earlier in his career.

“Envoi Allen was disappointing, but maybe that’s his form over two and a half (miles). He’s still a very good horse, but potentially the talking horse is not quite what people thought he might be,” he added.

“We’re thinking he’s going to come back in trip on the 27th, as long as he’s good form.”

On the opening day of Leopardstown’s Christmas Festival, Ferny Hollow is set to line up for the Grade One Racing Post Novice Chase.

Having been off the track since beating Bob Olinger in a maiden hurdle last year, the Willie Mullins-trained gelding made an excellent start to his chasing career on the John Durkan undercard.

Thompson said: “He’d been off for a year and it was chasing debut as well, so it was great to see him come back and show that acceleration.

“We’ve got big hopes for Ferny Hollow – he could be special. His form last year was top-notch, having beaten Appreciate It in the Champion Bumper and Bob Olinger over hurdles.

“I think he’ll run at Leopardstown on Boxing Day (St Stephen’s Day), so with him and Envoi Allen and A Plus Tard obviously going back to the Savills, it could be a lively one for us.”

Huge afternoon in store for Cheveley Park at Punchestown

Cheveley Park Stud director Richard Thompson is fascinated to see who will come out on top between Allaho and Envoi Allen in a mouthwatering renewal of the John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase.

Thompson revealed last month he was not against the idea of two of Cheveley Park’s biggest guns locking horns in the Grade One contest – and was as good as his word, with both declared on Friday morning.

Thompson said: “Let’s see what happens – this is what sport is all about, isn’t it?”

Henry de Bromhead’s Envoi Allen is the likely favourite, having bounced back from a fall at Cheltenham and an injury suffered at Punchestown in the spring with a runaway victory at Down Royal in October.

The Willie Mullins-trained Allaho is rated 11lb higher than Envoi Allen off the back of his spectacular display in Cheltenham’s Ryanair Chase last season, but has been off the track since chasing home esteemed stablemate Chacun Pour Soi at Punchestown in April.

“Allaho will probably bowl along from the front, you’d think – that’s his running style. With Envoi, it will be fascinating to see what he can do,” Thompson added.

“Envoi is a machine – he’s got tremendous acceleration. Allaho has obviously done it in the Ryanair, producing one of the most impressive performances at Cheltenham in recent years.

“Allaho came out in the John Durkan last year and didn’t run to form, so that could count against him. Envoi has obviously had a run already and that could be a deciding factor.

“You’d have to say Envoi potentially has the edge as he’s race-fit. He has won five Grade Ones, but this is a proper step up, so let’s see what he’s got.”

It promises to be another big day for the Cheveley Park team, with Ferny Hollow making his eagerly-anticipated return to action in the BetVictor Beginners Chase.

The 2020 Champion Bumper has not been seen in competitive action since claiming the notable scalp of Bob Olinger in a Gowran Park maiden hurdle in November of last year.

Thompson said: “We’ve got three of our big guns in action and I’ll be travelling over to watch them.

Richard Thompson (right) with Ferny Hollow at Cheltenham last year
Richard Thompson (right) with Ferny Hollow at Cheltenham last year (Simon Cooper/PA)

“We had an amazing day at Haydock two weeks ago with A Plus Tard winning the Betfair Chase. That will live in my memory forever and you can’t buy days like that – it’s magic dust.

“Ferny Hollow has been working well and schooling well.

“We know he’s got the ability and Willie likes him a lot, so we’ll hope for a decent run from him.

“It will tell us about his season going forward as well.”

Bryony Frost booked for Franco De Port by Willie Mullins in John Durkan

Bryony Frost will have a ride for Willie Mullins on Sunday as the champion trainer prepares a seven-strong team for the John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase.

Mullins has saddled a joint-record seven previous winners of the Grade One contest and appears intent on adding to his tally this weekend.

Allaho, so brilliant when winning the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, appears the Mullins first string, with the trainer’s son Patrick coming in for the ride.

Frost takes the mount on Franco De Port, whose high-class novice form includes a Grade One win at Leopardstown last Christmas.

Franco De Port will be ridden by Bryony Frost on Sunday
Franco De Port will be ridden by Bryony Frost on Sunday (PA)

Bryan Cooper steered Asterion Forlonge to victory over the course and distance in April and is once again on board him, while Danny Mullins partners Kemboy, as he did to win last season’s Irish Gold Cup.

Janidil, Melon and last year’s John Durkan runner-up Tornado Flyer complete the Closutton squad.

Allaho is one of two leading hopes for Cheveley Park Stud along with Envoi Allen, who is the likely favourite for Henry de Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore.

The seven-year-old, who put a Cheltenham fall and an injury suffered at Punchestown behind him with an impressive return at Down Royal, is joined by Grand National-winning stablemate Minella Times, the mount of leading amateur Derek O’Connor.

A quality field is completed by Joseph O’Brien’s Fakir D’oudairies, who like Envoi Allen has the benefit of a recent run having made a successful reappearance in last month’s Clonmel Oil Chase.

The likely star of the show on the undercard is the Mullins-trained and Cheveley Park-owned Ferny Hollow, who makes his long-awaited return – and fencing debut – in the beginners’ chase.

The 2020 Champion Bumper winner has been off the track since beating top-class novice Bob Olinger in a maiden hurdle at Gowran Park in November of last year.

John Durkan could see showdown between Allaho and Envoi Allen

Allaho and Envoi Allen could potentially lock horns in what would be a mouthwatering clash for the John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase.

Allaho was a brilliant winner of the Ryanair Chase at last season’s Cheltenham Festival and champion trainer Willie Mullins has already nominated the John Durkan as a potential comeback target.

If the seven-year-old does reappear on December 5, he would likely meet the Henry de Bromhead-trained Envoi Allen, who bounced back from a fall at Cheltenham and injury at Punchestown in the spring with a wide-margin success at Down Royal last month.

Both horses represent Cheveley Park Stud, whose director Richard Thompson said: “Envoi Allen going to go for the John Durkan, most probably – that’s the idea.

“Rachael (Blackmore) felt that tremendous acceleration at Down Royal and she said the power he had was great. It was great to see him back on form.

“His next run will be a true test – Allaho might run against him.”

Envoi Allen at Down Royal
Envoi Allen at Down Royal (Niall Carson/PA)

Asked if he would prefer to keep the two Cheveley Park stars apart, he added: “I’m not too worried about it actually.

“If both trainers think they’re ready to go and that is the right race for them, we’ll let them run against each other and see what happens.

“Allaho is in the Tingle Creek as well. I think the John Durkan is probably the favourite, but I haven’t spoken to Willie for a while so I’ll catch up with him next week.”

De Bromhead mulling Christmas options for Minella Indo

Kempton and Leopardstown are likely to come under the microscope as possible destinations for the next outing of Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Minella Indo.

The Henry de Bromhead-trained gelding returned to action at Down Royal on Saturday, and while ultimately having to settle for third behind all-the-way winner Frodon in the Ladbrokes Champion Chase, it was a performance that offered plenty of encouragement for the season ahead.

As did that of Envoi Allen, who was back to his brilliant best in the Grade Two Join Racing TV Chase.

The Waterford handler said: “Both were really good, Indo was brilliant and Envoi was good.”

Asked if he was happy with the run of Minella Indo, De Bromhead replied: “Absolutely, it’s a long year and fair play to Frodon and the (Paul) Nicholls team as they did a brilliant job to have him how he was.

“Our guy just takes a bit to warm up and ultimately Cheltenham is his place, he seems to grow another leg there. He’s incredible over there.

“Possibly the King George or the Savills Chase could be next, we’ll see. Probably neither are ideal, but he’s there and we want to run him.”

Options are fluid for Envoi Allen, after what was his first victory under De Bromhead’s care since moving from Gordon Elliott, having fallen at Cheltenham in March and suffered an injury at Punchestown.

De Bromhead said: “We haven’t really discussed Envoi Allen yet. There are a few options and the John Durkan (at Punchestown) would look an obvious one.

“He looked very pacey, I thought, and he is a Champion Bumper winner. We haven’t discussed plans at all yet.”

All eyes on Envoi Allen in Down Royal comeback

Envoi Allen bids to get his career back on track as he returns to action at Down Royal on Saturday.

The seven-year-old was unbeaten in 11 starts under rules, including Grade Ones in bumper company and over both hurdles and fences, before his winning streak ended at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

Sent off a hot favourite for the Marsh Novices’ Chase on his first start for Henry De Bromhead having transferred from Gordon Elliott’s care, Envoi Allen crashed out at the fourth fence and was then pulled up when he went on a retrieval mission at Punchestown.

Jack Kennedy cuts a disconsolate figure on his way to meet Henry de Bromhead after the Cheltenham fall
Jack Kennedy cuts a disconsolate figure on his way to meet Henry de Bromhead after the Cheltenham fall (David Davies/PA)

It later became apparent Envoi Allen had picked up an injury but having had successful surgery, De Bromhead is looking forward to seeing him back in the Join Racing TV Chase.

“Envoi Allen had a chip removed in the spring and he seems in good form and is moving really well. All is good,” said De Bromhead.

“The races are so competitive no matter where you go and this race is for second-season novices and he won his beginners’ chase there.”

Rachael Blackmore rode at Punchestown and will again be in the plate as both Jack Kennedy and Davy Russell, who had previously teamed up with Envoi Allen over obstacles, are required to ride for Elliott, who sends Coko Beach and Vado Forte.

Blackmore told BetVictor: “I pulled him up last time out at Punchestown. It was found that he had chipped his hind joint afterwards which required an operation, all went well and he had a nice summer break.

“He has been in a while and seems in great form at home. He has won twice at this meeting in impressive style on both occasions, fingers crossed we can replicate that start to the season and see him back to his very best once again.”

On taking on his former stable star, Elliott said: “Envoi Allen is different class, so we will only be riding for second.”

Cheveley Park’s jump stars gear up for Down Royal

Two of Cheveley Park Stud’s National Hunt stars, Envoi Allen and Quilixios, are set to return to action at Down Royal’s two-day Festival of Racing fixture.

Quilixios, winner of the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, is to reappear in the WKD Hurdle on Friday – while Envoi Allen is on course to make his eagerly-awaited comeback in the Grade Two Join Racing TV Chase over two miles three and a half furlongs on Saturday.

Both horses, trained by Henry de Bromhead, have points to prove – with Envoi Allen having his first race since undergoing surgery for a chipped joint and Quilixios aiming to bounce back after disappointing in the Champion Four Year Old Hurdle at Punchestown in May.

“Envoi Allen and Quilixios will be out at the weekend,” said Chris Richardson, managing director for owners Cheveley Park Stud.

Envoi Allen fell at Cheltenham and was pulled up at Punchestown, but has been pleasing connections at home as he prepares for his return. He is one of seven entries, with his former trainer Gordon Elliott responsible for both Coko Beach and Vado Forte.

“We’re very happy with him, and he’s in good heart. He schooled well, and Saturday looks right for him, fingers crossed,” said Richardson.

“It’s a bit of a nerve racking one. Let’s hope he gets round all right and safely.

“It’s a nice opportunity to get Quilixios started there too.”

Ferny Hollow is another exciting prospect for Cheveley Park, who could be on the comeback trail quite soon too.

Ferny Hollow, winner of the Weatherbys Champion Bumper at Cheltenham in 2020 could soon be back on the comeback trail
Ferny Hollow, winner of the Weatherbys Champion Bumper at Cheltenham in 2020, could soon be back on the comeback trail (Andrew Matthews/PA)

The 2020 Cheltenham bumper winner, trained by Willie Mullins, has been sidelined since making a successful hurdling debut at Gowran Park in November when he had subsequent Cheltenham Festival scorer Bob Olinger in second place.

“He’s fine. Obviously he’s a little bit further behind. We’re happy with him,” added Richardson.

“Plans are still up in the air. Willie plays his card close to his chest, but we’ll be focusing a bit more when we get the horses in training sale out of the way (this week).

“They’ve all had the chance to recuperate, so we’ll hold our breath.”

Envoi Allen on track for new season after successful surgery

Envoi Allen is on course to resume his career when the upcoming National Hunt season hits top gear following successful surgery on a chipped joint.

Unbeaten in his first 11 races and twice a winner at the Cheltenham Festival, the Cheveley Park Stud-owned gelding fell at this year’s Festival in March and headed afterwards to Punchestown.

However, the former Gordon Elliott inmate, who is now with Henry de Bromhead, was struggling early and eventually pulled up – with a subsequent scan giving him a valid excuse.

Envoi Allen is nearing a racecourse return
Envoi Allen is nearing a racecourse return (David Davies/Jockey Club)

“Everything has been going well since surgery and he’s enjoying his recuperation,” said owner Cheveley Park’s managing director Chris Richardson.

“He’s fresh and well, as far as we know, and we’re looking forward to Henry building him up for another exciting campaign.

“We don’t really know when he might be starting off as unfortunately I haven’t been able to get over there for a while, but I am hoping to get there soon which I’m looking forward to.

“Richard Thompson is very involved and really enjoyed that part of the business with his father and he will be instrumental in taking it forward.”

Envoi Allen is nearing a racecourse return
Sacred has big-race options coming up (John Walton/PA)

Back on the Flat and the stud have exciting options for Hungerford Stakes winner Sacred, who will either run in the Prix de la Foret on Arc weekend or at the Breeders’ Cup.

“If the ground at Longchamp isn’t suitable I think we’ll be heading to the Breeders’ Cup,” said Richardson.

“Mrs T (Patricia Thompson) was instrumental in Queen’s Trust (Filly & Mare Turf winner) going out there and that worked out.

“If the ground doesn’t work out then that is what we’d be looking at, but I think she’ll only have one more run this year, as she stays in training next year, so it’s a case of either/or.”

Envoi Allen surgery is successful

Connections of Envoi Allen are looking forward to the future after the star chaser underwent surgery this week.

Unbeaten in his first 11 starts under rules, the Cheveley Park Stud-owned gelding met with defeat for the first time when falling as he sought a third win at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

Hopes were high he could bounce back to his brilliant best for a much-anticipated clash with Monkfish in Punchestown’s Dooley Insurance Group Champion Novice Chase last month.

However, Henry de Bromhead’s charge was struggling a long way from home before eventually being pulled up by Rachael Blackmore, while Monkfish failed to reel in his stablemate Colreevy.

Envoi Allen was found to be lame post-race, and a subsequent CT scan at Fethard Equine Hospital revealed he had chipped a joint.

“Surgery was performed successfully, and the vets seem very happy,” said Cheveley Park’s managing director Chris Richardson.

“He obviously suffered the injury when standing miles off one of those early fences at Punchestown.

“It took a while for the swelling to go down. But surgery has now been performed, and he can now have a nice holiday and hopefully come back later in the year.”

Classic Getaway emerged as another exciting addition to Cheveley Park’s National Hunt string when making a successful debut under rules in a bumper at Tipperary on Tuesday.

The five-year-old, who cost an eye-watering £570,000 after winning his sole start in the point-to-point field, pulled 15 lengths clear on his first start for Willie and Patrick Mullins – and will now enjoy a summer break.

Richardson added: “He’s such a good-looking horse with a lovely classic head and lovely long ears.

“Patrick was very happy with him. He gave him a nice introduction, and we can look forward to next season.

“He didn’t really know what to do in the final stages of the race, and I’m sure he’ll learn a lot from that.”

Classic Getaway after his Tipperary win
Classic Getaway after his Tipperary win (PA)

The same trainer-owner combination is set to unleash another expensive recruit at Punchestown on Saturday, with £430,000 purchase Grangeclare West lining up for the Ladbrokes (Pro/Am) INH Flat Race.

Richardson said: “I don’t think he’s in the same league as Classic Getaway – but he’s a nice horse, and we’ll learn a bit more.

“We’re spoilt with the really good horses that we’ve got at the moment. Hopefully he’s another one to look forward to.

“We’ll get a run into him, and then put him away.”

Envoi Allen suffered chipped joint in Punchestown defeat

A chipped joint has emerged as a viable excuse for Envoi Allen’s disappointing performance at last week’s Punchestown Festival.

Unbeaten in his first 11 starts under rules, the Cheveley Park Stud-owned gelding met with defeat for the first time after falling when bidding for a third win at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

Hopes were high he could bounce back to his brilliant best for a much-anticipated clash with Monkfish in Punchestown’s Dooley Insurance Group Champion Novice Chase.

However, Henry de Bromhead’s charge was struggling a long way from home before eventually being pulled up by Rachael Blackmore, while Monkfish failed to reel in his stablemate Colreevy.

Things have not gone to plan of late for Envoi Allen
Things have not gone to plan of late for Envoi Allen (David Davies/Jockey Club)

Envoi Allen was found to lame post-race and a subsequent CT scan at Fethard Equine Hospital has revealed the extent of his injury.

Cheveley Park’s managing director Chris Richardson said: “From the results of the investigations, it appears he has (chipped a joint).

“If you look at the picture of him taking off about a furlong before the second fence, it was the most unbelievable leap.

“Rachael obviously did the right thing by pulling him up. You could see that she had one tight rein and one loose rein, so things weren’t as expected.”

Rachael Blackmore with Sir Gerhard at Cheltenham
Rachael Blackmore with Sir Gerhard at Cheltenham (Michael Steele/PA)

Envoi Allen’s Cheltenham mishap was a rare blip at the Festival for the Cheveley Park team, who won with Sir Gerhard, Quilixios and Allaho, and went close to Gold Cup glory with A Plus Tard.

The Cheltenham winners were beaten at Punchestown, but Richardson added: “All the horses have had a long season and we had a wonderful Cheltenham.

“They can all go on holiday now and we can look forward to next year.”

Colreevy caps racing career with Punchestown glory

Colreevy ended her racing career in a blaze of glory after upsetting big guns Monkfish and Envoi Allen with a superb front-running victory in the Dooley Insurance Group Champion Novice Chase at Punchestown.

A clash between the Willie Mullins-trained Monkfish and Henry de Bromhead’s Envoi Allen was billed as one of the races of the season, with Monkfish protecting an unbeaten record over fences and Envoi Allen bidding to bounce back from his early fall at Cheltenham.

However, Monkfish’s stablemate Colreevy – winner of the inaugural Mares’ Chase in the Cotswolds last month – had other ideas under a well-judged ride from the trainer’s nephew, Danny Mullins.

The 7-1 shot raced enthusiastically and jumped with exuberance on the front end, with eventual runner-up Monkfish sat second under Paul Townend and Envoi Allen third in the hands of Rachael Blackmore.

However, Envoi Allen appeared to be in trouble some way from home before eventually being pulled up approaching the second-last fence, by which time Monkfish was also struggling to peg back the leader.

Colreevy was a little untidy at the final obstacle, but soon regathered her momentum and passed the post eight lengths clear.

The winner, who was recently covered by leading sire Walk In The Park, is now set for a well-earned retirement at the age of eight.

Willie Mullins said: “On ratings she was the best-rated (with the mares’ allowance). Obviously Envoi Allen is not right, and Monkfish probably didn’t run his true race, but she did and probably ran an even better race than she did in Cheltenham.

“It’s a nice send-off for Colreevy. It’s fabulous for the Flynns (owners) and for Danny as well.”

While Townend steered Colreevy to Cheltenham success, Danny Mullins did land a Grade One with her at Limerick earlier in the campaign.

He said: “She’s been a good mare to me this season. I’m delighted to repay the Flynns’ faith in me.

Colreevy and Danny Mullins after winning at Punchestown
Colreevy and Danny Mullins after winning at Punchestown (Niall Carson/PA)

“It was a good performance. She was a little bit sticky early on, but once she warmed into it she proved that she’s a top-class mare.

“When I got away from a third-last and was able to turn to the second-last with a little bit of petrol, I thought I’d be hard to beat – but having said that, Monkfish and Envoi Allen were on my tail, so it was always going to be tough.

“She took a chance at the last, but she’s a lot of power underneath her and kept galloping strongly away from it.”