Longshot Ted: Take on Envoi Allen in the Marsh with this Henderson star

Chantry House can be a thorn in the side of Envoi Allen in the Marsh.
Chantry House can be a thorn in the side of Envoi Allen in the Marsh.

Ed Quigley picks out two selections for the Cheltenham Festival, which come in the Paddy Power Plate and the Marsh Novices' Chase...

They say once bitten, twice shy, but being the forgiving type, I am keen to get CARIBEAN BOY onside in the portfolio for the Paddy Power Plate. Big things were expected of the seven-year-old after he was very impressive in landing a Grade 2 at Newbury in November, and talk of a tilt at the Ryanair Chase was mooted, but he has failed to live up to those heights since. However, both disappointments came on very testing ground, and last time out at Sandown he looked outpaced over the minimum trip, before plugging on up the Sandown hill. Going into handicap company off 153, he has the attributes to go close here with the step back up in trip looking sure to suit this unexposed sort. If he can reproduce his round of jumping from his Newbury run combined with some decent underfoot conditions, I think the Seven Barrows representative could easily be in the mix at 20/1 and could start significantly shorter.

Paddy Power Plate
Caribean Boy silk

Caribean Boy


With recent events understandably producing a few uncertainties in the antepost landscape, CHANTRY HOUSE still looks the value call in the Marsh Novices' Chase. The Nicky Henderson-trained gelding was arguably a slightly fortuitous winner on Chase debut at Ascot back in November, before disappointing at Cheltenham on his next start. Subsequently he was treated for a kissing spine in the aftermath, and that treatment appears to have had a positive effect, as we saw when he hacked up at Wetherby recently. He jumped well and travelled with much more zest than what we had seen from him earlier in the season. He ran a cracker at last year's Cheltenham Festival when third to Shishkin in the Supreme Novices and I am very much looking forward to seeing him. He needs to improve but appears to be trending in the right direction and looks the biggest danger to Envoi Allen in my eyes.

Marsh Novices' Chase
Chantry House silk

Chantry House


To more immediate affairs, and I would be keeping a close eye on whether ZANZA takes his chance at Doncaster at the weekend. At around 3/1 he makes little appeal from a betting perspective, but I would be interested if the Philip Hobbs team decide to swerve this assignment in order to have a crack at the Grand Annual. A runner-up to Allmankind at Warwick in November, he bolted up at Newbury on his next start before falling at Cheltenham in December and was travelling supremely well before crashing out three fences from home in the handicap chase won by Sky Pirate. He has been left on an official mark of 145, and if he went straight to the Grand Annual he would very much be on my shortlist. I think he still has the scope to improve off his current rating and would have to come under consideration on spring ground.


Paddy Power Plate, Cheltenham Festival, Thursday 18th March - back Caribean Boy, 1pt win at 20/1 (generally)

Marsh Novices' Chase, Cheltenham Festival, Thursday 18th March - back Chantry House, 1pt win at 12/1 (generally)

Cheltenham Festival
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