Gordon Elliott: 'Envoi Allen was bought to be a chaser'

Envoi Allen was a fine winner of the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle.
Envoi Allen was a fine winner of the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle.

Gordon Elliott has hinted that he is leaning towards chasing next year with Envoi Allen, who got favourite backers off to the perfect start with a classy success in the opening race on Wednesday at Cheltenham, the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle

The race wasn’t without a moment of worry for the six-year-old, however, and jockey Davy Russell was left with plenty to do aboard Envoi Allen when rounding the bend for home, having around four lengths to make up on the leading pair of The Big Getaway and stablemate Easywork.

However, the market leader oozed class, and quickly put matters to bed up the Cheltenham hill, sealing an emphatic success for trainer Gordon Elliott - his second of the week after Ravenhill obliged in yesterday’s National Hunt Chase.

It seems likely that chasing will be the long term aim for Envoi Allen, though his trainer was tight-lipped about their plans for the six-year-old at present. He said: ‘I’ll have to discuss his future with the owners. We’ll enjoy the day and see what happens. He’s bought to be a three-mile chaser and that’s all I’ll say. 

“I’d imagine he’ll go to Punchestown next. It wasn’t an easy decision to send him here (over the Supreme), but thankfully it worked out. We’ve got a few nice novices and I’m very happy.”

Meanwhile, Elliott is also responsible for the dual Grand National hero Tiger Roll, who is aiming to seal his fifth Festival success in the Cross Country Chase, the fifth race on the card. 

However, he admitted that he was slightly concerned with the soft going at Cheltenham this afternoon; “I couldn’t be happier with him. I’m very worried about the ground, which is a big worry for Tiger Roll,” he said. 

“Everyone knows he’s a stone worse on bad ground compared to better ground, but we’re here - everyone’s here to see him - and he’s going to take his chance. 

‘We enjoy Tiger. If he never wins another race, he’ll owe us nothing. He’s the horse of a lifetime, and we’re all here to enjoy him today.”

Cheltenham Gold Cup
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