28th Jan 2021
James Hill in Racing & Football Outlook has suggested an e/w punt on CHATHAM STREET LAD on the following interesting grounds. Compared to other Festival Hurdle winners transitioning to the Novice Chases, ENVOI ALLEN’s collective races under rules winning margins are way lower than normal for a horse with his OR. SHISKIN (Arkle) has an average 12.33l winning margin and MONKFISH (Festival) 6.33l. ENCOI ALLEN is only 4.03l. In other words, he wins but not by much – and Hills discounts the argument that he “only does enough”. Based on his performance in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup at Prestbury Park in December, he suggests CHATHAM STREET LAD is way too big and believes his last losing run was over too short a trip and ridden with some impatience. (25/1 in places 20/1 generally. 14/1 NRNB)
26th Jan 2021
Chris Richardson, Cheveley Park’s managing director told reporters that Envoi Allen will go straight to Cheltenham following his latest run at Punchestown. Already a dual winner at the showpiece meeting, having won the Champion Bumper and the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle in the past two seasons, ENVOI ALLEN is bound for the Marsh Novices’ Chase – for which he is odds-on with most bookmakers. Theoretically, Gordon Elliott’s charge appeared to face his toughest test over fences to date in conceding 11lb to the G1 hurdler Asterion Forlonge earlier this month. However, the latter crashed out at the very first fence, leaving Envoi Allen clear to extend his unbeaten record under rules to 11 with the minimum of fuss.
15th Jan 2021
MESSIRE DES OBEAUX beat PROTEKTORAT by 4½l LTO and it might well be that the latter will improve considerably for going left-handed – even at his current odds of 25/1. By the same token, Alan King’s nine-year-old winner has made a Dresden porcelain vase, when being clutched by a 20yo Silverback in a bad mood, look robust. OK, he won the G1 Challow Hurdle winner when a kid, and he has ability. But up against ENVOI ALLEN? I’d want 20s. Leave both