Tag Archive for: Love Envoi

Love Envoi hunting Grade One gold at Fairyhouse

Harry Fry sends stable flag-bearer and Cheltenham Festival heroine Love Envoi into the lion’s den in a bid for Grade One glory at Fairyhouse on Sunday.

The six-year-old puts her unbeaten record on the line in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Novice Hurdle Championship Final.

Love Envoi has won back-to-back Grade Two contests following success in the Jayne Seymour at Sandown and the Ryanair Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham.

That last success, where she beat 18 rivals, took her run to five unbeaten over hurdles, and Fry hopes she can seal her phenomenal campaign with a top-level success.

Fry said: “It is a Grade One and she comes up and takes on quite a few good horses, although some of them finished behind her at Cheltenham.

“This time we are going there to take them on in their own backyard, so it is no easy task, but she is eating well and seems well in herself at home.

“She has answered every question so far. To have a Cheltenham Festival winner is what we all strive to achieve. That is what we are all in this game for.”

Fry, who won the same race seven years ago with Bitofapuzzle, hopes there will be plenty of cut in the ground for Love Envoi.

Rain is forecast, and Fry added: “We know the task facing her. Cheltenham was a Grade Two and Sunday is a Grade One,” added Fry.

“This was a race we were lucky enough to win in 2015 and it would be great to do it again.

“Grade One is the currency we all like to trade in and hopefully she can run and be competitive and cap what has already been a special season – a win would really be the icing on top.

“Yielding ground will help. They had 11 millimetres of rain early in the week and say they are forecast another 8mm to 10mm on Saturday night, so obviously if they get it, it is another positive.

“Fingers crossed, hopefully that rain materialises and that will suit us nicely indeed.”

Willie Mullins has multiple contenders
Willie Mullins has multiple contenders (David Davies/PA)

Brandy Love, runner-up in a Grade Three at the track last time, heads the Willie Mullins team along with Dino Blue, who was sent off favourite at Cheltenham, only to finish ninth behind Love Envoi.

The BoyleSports Gold Cup, the second of the two Grade One events on the seven-race card, sees Galopin Des Champs bid to make up for his fall when well clear at the last in the Turners’ Novices’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

The 5-6 favourite had firmly mastered Bob Olinger and was 12 lengths in front only to come to grief on landing after jumping the last perfectly, and will be a warm order as he takes on five rivals in the two-and-a-half-mile test.

Galopin Des Champs had the race at his mercy when falling at Cheltenham
Galopin Des Champs had the race at his mercy when falling at Cheltenham (Tim Goode/PA)

Master McShee bids to reverse placings with Galopin Des Champs following their clash in the Grade One Ladbrokes Novices’ Chase at Leopardstown in February.

The Paddy Corkery-trained eight-year-old is already a Grade One scorer, having landed the Faugheen Novices’ Chase at Limerick on Boxing Day.

Then, following his nine-length defeat to Galopin Des Champs at Leopardstown, he was beaten three-quarters of a length by Sizing Pottsie in the Grade Two Webster Cup at Navan.

Corkery hopes that Master McShee can keep progressing and said: “He is taking on Galopin Des Champs again and he wasn’t far behind him the last day they met. It was a very respectable run.

“He probably didn’t jump the first four fences. He was a little bit slow and in his mind he is still a little bit of a novice.

“We put him into experienced company the last day at Navan and that will bring him on a lot.

Master McShee takes Galopin Des Champs on again
Master McShee takes Galopin Des Champs on again (PA)

“Farouk D’alene has come out and won since. He was giving a good account of himself when he slipped up in the Brown Advisory at Cheltenham, and Galopin Des Champs would have won by a country mile at Cheltenham, so the form is there.

“If the Sizing Pottsie race has been another 10 yards, he would have been caught. He was closing with every stride.”

However, Corkery’s quiet confidence comes with something of an asterisk.

He admitted: “The other issue I have is that he does tend to burst blood vessels. If he doesn’t burst on Sunday, he will give a good account of himself.

“He is a better horse on good ground, but the fact that he bursts blood vessels is in the back of my mind, so from a punters’ perspective, he is a bit of a gamble.”

Fehily savouring Festival success with Love Envoi

Noel Fehily is used to the big occasions. Two Champion Hurdles, a Champion Chase and two King Georges were among 27 Grade One winners he partnered in a career that saw him tally 1,353 winners.

And while Fehily admits there is nothing like the thrill of riding a Cheltenham winner, he says seeing one of his syndicates land a pot like the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle as he did with Love Envoi on Thursday, still gets his juices flowing.

Love Envoi powering to victory at Cheltenham
Love Envoi powering to victory at Cheltenham (Steven Paston/PA)

“There is nothing like the buzz of riding a winner at Cheltenham,” said Fehily. “You can’t beat that, because all eyes are on you. It is such a buzz.

“But you don’t feel as nervous when you are riding them as you do when owning them, because you are not in control and can’t do anything to control the situation. It was nerve-wracking, watching her.”

Along with long-time friend and jockey David Crosse, Noel Fehily Racing celebrated their first Festival winner when Love Envoi extended her unbeaten record in holding Ahorsewithnoname by a length and a quarter under Jonathan Burke.

“It was incredible,” Fehily said of the Harry Fry-trained winner.

“She has improved all season since she won at Leicester in December. After she won at Warwick, the plan was to go to Sandown, but the Winter Million at Lingfield came up, so we had a crack at that and won that.

“Then she won the Grade Two at Sandown, but to win at the Festival was amazing. We never thought in our wildest dreams that the syndicates would have such success.

“We started out about two and a half years ago with a couple of horses, but it has taken off.

“Now we have 21 syndicates. There are 10 shares in each horse and each person buying the share is buying 10 per cent of the cost of the horse, plus they pay £279 a month for vets fees and training fees etc.

“Having a 10 per cent share in a horse means you get to feel more of a part of the team than you would if there were 20 members in the syndicate. Friends can get together to own a horse and we’ve had a lot of fun with the syndicates, as have the members.

Noel Fehily is enjoying great success out of the saddle
Noel Fehily is enjoying great success out of the saddle (Andrew Matthews/PA)

“But to have a Cheltenham Festival winner was just incredible. We were so delighted for the owners, for Harry and all the team. It was a brilliant day.”

Love Envoi, who took her career winnings to £116,095 with her fifth successive victory, is expected to bypass Aintree and could well head across the Irish Sea for her next outing.

Fehily said: “We are looking at the Grade One mares’ novice hurdle at Fairyhouse on Easter Sunday and she could go there.

“I think the plan will be to go for the Mares’ Hurdle at Cheltenham next year and work backwards from there. She has been brilliant all season and fingers crossed she’ll continue to improve.”

Love conquers all in Mares’ contest at Cheltenham

Love Envoi took her unbeaten record to six when landing a highly-popular success in the Ryanair Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham.

Trained by Harry Fry, the six-year-old is owned by the Noel Fehily Racing Syndicate. It was a fitting verdict as the former jumps jockey announced his retirement plans after landing the same race on Eglantine Du Seuil in 2019.

Jonathan Burke, given the task of riding the mare, put the opposition under pressure when he kicked on after jumping the second-last flight.

Love Envoi (15-2) kept on strongly up the hill to win by a length and a quarter from Ahorsewithnoname for a fifth hurdle triumph plus one in a bumper. Grangee was a length and a half back in third place with Nurse Susan fourth.

Harry Fry trains Love Envoi
Harry Fry trains Love Envoi (Tim Goode/PA)

Fehily said: “What a performance. It was nerve-racking stuff. She is so tough and wouldn’t know when to give up. She stays two and a half. Johnny (Burke) had the perfect pitch all the way and he produced her perfectly. We’ve had a such a season with her – she’s six from six now.

“Myself and Dave (Crosse, former jockey) went to Newmarket to look at her and we went back the following day and bought her. We were so lucky to get her.”

Crosse, who runs the syndicate with Fehily, said: “We both have to agree on horses. It works well. Two heads are always better than one.”

Fry, too, was delighted with the performance. He said: “She’s a brilliant mare and doesn’t know when she’s beaten.

“She’s won five on the bounce. It’s funny as Unowhatimeanharry came here after an unbeaten campaign as a novice and got his head in front and sometimes these horses don’t know what it is to lose a race.

“Johnny gave her a lovely ride. Turning in I thought we were right where we wanted to be and with a good jump at the last, we knew she’d stay on well up the hill.

“It’s brilliant for Noel and the syndicate. I said to them last week when the ground was good and they were watering, ‘are we losing our heads running here?’. But they said confirm her and we’ll see.

“I was watching the racing on Tuesday and they were breaking the track record and I was thinking ‘we can forget running Love Envoi’, then of course yesterday happened.

“The last day she did everything wrong and still won, so we put a lot of thought into today and getting her to not run her race beforehand.

“I’m absolutely delighted for everybody. I don’t know whether we’ll run again this year. We’ll just enjoy today and see how she is.”

Nico de Boinville, rider of runner-up Ahorsewithnoname, said: “It was a great run that belied her price. I’m delighted with her.”

Jack Cantillon, spokesman for Syndicates Racing who own third-placed Grangee, said: “She ran a great race and had to come from a long way back.

“The mares’ hurdle over two-miles-four is something to maybe consider next season but she could now go to Punchestown or Fairyhouse.”

Dan Skelton, trainer of the fourth home Nurse Susan, said: “It was a very good run and we’re looking forward to putting her over fences next season.”

Fehily lining up dual assault on Cheltenham Festival

Cheltenham Festival-winning rider Noel Fehily could have two runners on the Thursday of the meeting with his racing syndicate.

The unbeaten Love Envoi will go for the Grade Two Parnell Properties Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle as long as the ground is suitable, while Come On Teddy heads for the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup.

Fehily had six winners at the Festival, including the Champion Hurdle twice with Rock On Ruby (2012) and Buveur D’Air (2017) and a Queen Mother Champion Chase on Special Tiara (2017), before retiring from the saddle in 2019.

He now runs the Noel Fehily Racing Syndicate with former jump jockey David Crosse.

Fehily reports Love Envoi, trained by Harry Fry, to be in in tip-top condition. The six-year-old has won all her four starts over hurdles since being bought for £38,000 out of Sean Doyle’s stables in Ireland at Tattersalls March Sales in 2021.

“Love Envoi is in great form. We’re really hopeful we can run her at Cheltenham. Hopefully we’ll get a little bit more rain, which would help. We’re looking forward to running her,” he said.

“She keeps surprising us. When they’re on the up, you never know where they will stop improving.

“As long as the ground stays on the slow side, that is where we want to go with her. If it dried out too much she wouldn’t run. At the minute that is where we want to go.”

Come On Teddy, trained by Tom George, did the syndicate proud when finishing third in the Pertemps Final at last year’s Festival.

“We’ve also got Come On Teddy in the Kim Muir. Finding horses like them id hard – we are lucky to have two of them going to the Festival,” Fehily went on.

“Come On Teddy is also in the Ultima but he won’t get in that, so we’re going for the Kim Muir. He’s in great form and it’s great to have two runners there on Thursday, hopefully.

“They are the horses you want to buy to run at the big meetings.”

Love Envoi stays unbeaten with Sandown victory

Love Envoi did plenty wrong but still managed to gain a fourth successive victory in taking the Weatherbys Cheltenham Festival Betting Guide Jane Seymour Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at Sandown.

Harry Fry’s six-year old relishes deep winter ground and the heavy conditions at the Esher track played to her strengths, as they had done at Lingfield on her previous outing four weeks ago.

Jonathan Burke’s mount was on her toes in the paddock ahead of this step up to two and a half miles and was keen to post.

Yet when she did finally settle after pulling herself to the front down the back straight in the Grade Two event, she rarely looked like being beaten.

And while she managed to clatter through the penultimate flight, Burke remained composed and a better jump at the last sealed the deal, as the 10-11 favourite sauntered to a two-and-a-quarter-length success over the Speech Bubble.

Fry said: “She was tanking down the hill, Johnny just slowed her up and once she got to the front, she just settled.

“She kept coming out of his hands, kicked the second-last out of the ground and did everything she could to get herself beat – and still won.

“She was very keen the first day she won for us. Obviously, we dropped back to two miles the last day and we were back up in trip today. She was on her toes even before Johnny got on her and while it is great we won the race, the manner in which she has done it was not as professional as I would like – far from it.”

He went on: “Look, she is four from four, she has done brilliantly and I’m delighted for the whole (Noel Fehily Racing) syndicate. It is a great day for them. She has done plenty wrong, still won, and there is plenty improvement in terms of how we go about winning her races.

“We will enjoy this. A win is a win. We will worry about it the next day.”

On future plans, Fry said: “She is in the mares’ (novices’) hurdle at Cheltenham. It is only over two miles, but we will see how she comes out of this. Today was the plan. The one thing I would say is that it would have to be testing to go there.

“The other race we thought about was the Grade One mares’ novice at Fairyhouse at Easter, which we were lucky enough to win with Bitofapuzzle (in 2015). So we have options. We won a Class 2 the last day, we won a Grade Two today.

“We have made the most of conditions. After Warwick, we were going to come here, but we thought what is the point of waiting seven, eight weeks when she is a soft ground horse. Lingfield fitted in well. Maybe that’s why she has had fairly quick runs back-to-back. But we’ll see. There are some fairly nice options to be mulling over, that’s for sure.”

Love Envoi takes next step up the ladder at Sandown

Love Envoi steps up in class as she bids to take her perfect record to five in the Weatherbys Cheltenham Festival Betting Guide Jane Seymour Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at Sandown on Thursday.

Harry Fry’s six-year-old won a bumper when trained in Ireland and has since recorded three victories this winter since joining the Dorset trainer.

“She seems good, we were pleased to see the rain over the weekend and an unsettled forecast. She thrives in soft conditions which we look like getting,” said Fry ahead of the Grade Two test.

“Obviously, we dropped in trip to two miles at Lingfield and she won well. We’re stepping back back up in trip, having won over further already this season.

“She’s got a penalty for winning a class two at Lingfield, but she’s done everything right so far. This is a step up in grade again and we’ll see how she copes.”

Love Envoi has been entered in the Parnell Properties Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham – but Fry is not taking anything for granted.

He added: “We’re not getting ahead of ourselves. We’ll focus on Sandown first and get Thursday out of the way. Win, lose or draw, we’ll make plans from there.”

Speech Bubble is another who relishes testing conditions and trainer Noel Williams is looking forward to seeing her take her chance.

The seven-year-old got off the mark over hurdles at the second attempt with a cosy success at Newbury last month, after three runs in bumpers.

“It looks a good little race, but she’s certainly earned the right to have a crack at it,” said Williams.

“It was a good performance at Newbury the last day. She won a bit cosily and I think she’ll run very well. She’s got the course form there – she finished second in a Listed bumper.

“She goes on soft ground, the more rain the merrier. She’s a bit of a bog trotter really. She should stay well. She’s definitely got a chance in it.

“It’s going to be a test of stamina and she looks the sort of horse that’s made for a test of stamina. I’m looking forward to running her.”

Anthony Honeyball has two chances in Coquelicot and Swincombe Fleat, with the seven-strong field completed by the Lucinda Russell-trained Haute Estime, Alan King’s Nina The Terrier and La Renommee from Dr Richard Newland’s stable.

Love Envoi sails through Lingfield ground to maintain unbeaten record

Love Envoi maintained her unbeaten record with victory in the Winter Million Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at Lingfield.

Winner of an Irish bumper for Sean Doyle, the six-year-old was bought by recently-retired jockey Jerry McGrath for £38,000 in March and joined the Noel Fehily Racing Club, to be trained by Harry Fry.

Following straightforward wins at Warwick and Leicester, this represented a step up in class with several nice prospects lining up.

One of those, Rainyday Woman, was pulled up at halfway, but Nurse Susan and Mayhem Mya, a winner at Chepstow earlier this week, tracked her into the straight.

Jonathan Burke had given his mare a canny ride, though, and saved plenty, with Love Envoi (11-2) relishing the testing ground and keeping on for a two-and-a-half-length win, leaving Fry eyeing a trip to Sandown next month.

He said: “She made an error early on, but she was superb over the last two and that won the day in the end.

“She loved this (heavy) ground and it is a big asset. She just goes through it with ease. She came back in trip today and it wasn’t a concern, although she had not tried it before, but the ground brought her stamina into play.

“She liked it, whereas others would not necessarily. She is a fair size and she would probably always want a bit of easy ground.

“She will now go to Sandown for the Grade Two Jane Seymour Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle over two miles and three furlongs on February 17.”

Fontaine Collonges jumps the last in fine style
Fontaine Collonges jumps the last in fine style (Simon Marper/PA)

Venetia Williams continued her excellent recent run when Fontaine Collonges made a mockery of a handicap mark of 122 in the Winter Million EBF Mares’ Novices’ Handicap Chase.

Never far from the pace under Charlie Deutsch, she found herself in front early in the straight and the 5-2 favourite came home 10 lengths clear of Wouldubewell.

Williams said: “I am very pleased with the way she ran to the line and pleased also with her jumping, as she was being a little bit careful and you’d sooner that then careless.

“She was a little bit careful in her earlier races, but better that way and gradually pick up pace over obstacles. We schooled her the middle of last week and the first time she was really on it, she was quick and forward, and I thought, ‘yes, that’ll do. No more now’.”

Frero Banbou provided Venetia Williams and Charlie Deutsch with a quick double
Frero Banbou provided Venetia Williams and Charlie Deutsch with a quick double (Simon Marper/PA)

Williams and Deutsch quickly doubled up when Frero Banbou (9-4 favourite) reeled in long-time leader Eclair D’Ainay in the racehorselotto.com Handicap Chase.

Williams said: “I’m really pleased with that. It was Charlie’s idea after last time to take his time a bit more. We talked about trying to change things slightly in order to get his head in front.

“One of the options was to step him up in trip but we felt that a lack of pace wasn’t a problem, so it was his idea to ride him a little differently.”

Fantastikas emerged victorious for the Twiston-Davis team
Fantastikas emerged victorious for the Twiston-Davis team (Simon Marper/PA)

Nigel Twiston-Davies looks set to target the National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival with Fantastikas, who landed the weatherbys nhstallions.co.uk Novices’ Chase after a nail-biting finish.

The 5-2 chance looked to have the near three-mile event in the bag when jumping clear at the last, only for Queenohearts to get within a short-head of the Sam Twiston-Davies ridden winner.

“I thought we were beaten,” said the winning trainer. “He is a good boy. That was very good. He is in the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham and in the three-mile novice chase, but he looks like he is a right stayer, so the National Hunt will probably be the one for him. It’s very exciting.

“We have made a thing of milking the money and he has won a lot of money by not winning. He won five grand here, was second at Doncaster and won nine grand, he was third at Cheltenham and won seven grand, so he has done all right. If horses pay their way, that’s all that matters.”