Tag Archive for: Noel Fehily

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.”