Envoi Allen is looking to bounce back from Cheltenham tumble

Envoi Allen could aim to atone for his fall at Cheltenham with an outing at the Punchestown Festival

Back home: Cheltenham faller Envoi Allen looks set to return to the racecoursae at the Punchestown Festival. Picture: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Now with Henry de Bromhead following his switch from Gordon Elliott, Envoi Allen suffered the first defeat of his career last week in the Marsh Novices’ Chase.

He was just about the only disappointment in a stellar week for owners Cheveley Park Stud, who celebrated three winners and two seconds.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“Before the Festival we thought Envoi Allen might be our winner and the others might go close, but it wasn’t to be for him. He’ll learn from that,” said the stud’s managing director Chris Richardson.

Aintree bound: Shishkin's trainer Nicky Henderson says the Cheltenham victor will run at the Grand National meeting. Picture: Simon Cooper/PA Wire.

“Unfortunately he made his first mistake of the season at the wrong time. He was a little upset beforehand, a bit on his toes and Jack (Kennedy) was trying to get him settled.

“He’d only been in small fields up to now, and with horses around him he probably wasn’t focused on the job in hand. Luckily both him and Jack were fine and we can look forward to many more occasions going forward.

“He’s in at Fairyhouse over Easter. As long as he’s fine, obviously travelling can take a bit out of a horse, Punchestown would probably be favourite I would suspect, but that is something the Thompsons will discuss.”

One of the most impressive displays of the week was Allaho in the Ryanair, and all options are open to him over seemingly all trips.

“Allaho was impressive. I think for my part, two and a half miles suits him really well.

“Over three miles we were always wondering if he quite got home,” said Richardson.

“He’s got a great future. Whether we drop him back to two miles or stay at two and a half, he could still get three one day as well. He was spectacular to watch so we’re excited to see what he does next.

“Everything looks open to him. Richard Thompson (owner) will speak to Willie (Mullins), but the Melling Chase at Aintree is an option over two and a half miles, going left-handed, that must be a consideration, but it will all come out in the wash.

“It’s exciting to have a horse of that calibre and he certainly caught the imagination in every way.”

As well as Sir Gerhard in the Bumper, Quilixios carried the Cheveley colours to victory in the Triumph Hurdle.

“Going into the race he was four from four and by then Rachael (Blackmore) was just full of confidence and gave him a fantastic ride. It was a stellar performance and confirmed how good he potentially is,” said Richardson.

Meanwhile, impressive Arkle winner Shishkin is set to line up at Aintree’s Randox Grand National Festival next month.

The seven-year-old cantered home 12 lengths clear in the Grade One heat at Cheltenham and is due to be joined on Merseyside by fellow Nicky Henderson inmate Chantry House, who also grabbed top-level glory in the Marsh Novices’ Chase at the Festival.

Fusil Raffles was second in the Marsh for Henderson and he is also pencilled in for Aintree, while Epatante, who finished third in defence of her Champion Hurdle title, is set to clash again with her Cheltenham conqueror Honeysuckle at Punchestown.

“I’m hoping Shishkin, Chantry House and Fusil Raffles will all be going to Aintree – that is the plan,” the Seven Barrows trainer told Nick Luck’s Daily Podcast.

“Epatante was probably slightly disappointing.

“I think she ought to have finished second, but she wouldn’t have beaten Honeysuckle in a million years.

“We’re probably going to go to Punchestown and give it another go.”

Henderson spoke about his two Cheltenham Gold Cup hopefuls, saying Champ, who was pulled up, has a back issue which will be treated in Ireland, while Santini never took to a first-time visor, and was pulled up after the 12th.

Support The Yorkshire Post and become a subscriber today. Your subscription will help us to continue to bring quality news to the people of Yorkshire. In return, you’ll see fewer ads on site, get free access to our app and receive exclusive membiers-only offers. Click HERE to subscribe.