Marsh Novices' Chase Tips: Envoi Allen to rout rivals

Marsh Novices' Chase Tips: Envoi Allen to prove too good on Thursday
Marsh Novices' Chase Tips: Envoi Allen to prove too good on Thursday

Tanya Stevenson gives her Marsh Novices' Chase tip in a race that will see Envoi Allen line up as a red-hot favourite on day three of the Cheltenham Festival...

Tanya Stevenson's Marsh Novices' Chase Tip

Envoi Allen at 8/13 with Betfred

The wind whispers its thoughts downwards from Cleeve Hill, through empty grandstands the silence is deafening.  A barren betting ring is missing its combatants, rip roaring battles remembered through the years. You can almost hear the echoes of the cheers for ghosts of favourites past.  Adjacent is greenery rich in history where dreams are made, for who will run into racing folklore, as the time ticks each day we await for that to unravel, poised are word, pen and keyboard to scribe the sport’s next chapter….

Envoi Allen has filled a chapter by himself, unbeaten in 11 races, two of those at the Cheltenham Festival.  He lays claim to five Grade 1 successes and surely more to come, I’ve been handed the task to give my thoughts on the Marsh Novices’ Chase.  How can you oppose a horse who is already by many standards a great, his chase rating has usurped his hurdles and surely there is more to come.  He is indifferent to the ground and the betting is indifferent to his rivals who have glimmers of outstanding form.

Cheltenham Festival Tips

Darver Star has placed in a Champion Hurdle, yet chasing has been a steep learning curve.  Asterion Forlonge, a Supreme fourth, was impressive on debut but has lost all confidence since a fall at Limerick.  Blackbow was fifth in the 2018 Bumper with a 563 day layoff until a return to the track and still gaging those big obstacles, not bad against Energumene latest.

Chatham Street Lad has claimed a big prize in December at the course, tuning up well for this in January at Fairyhouse, this though is a big jump from handicapping.  The double green will be worn by Fusil Raffles a Grade 1 winner over hurdles, who has shown an aptitude to Cheltenham.

Chantry House was third in the Supreme, yet subsequently over fences has been third to Fusil Raffles over fences at Cheltenham.  He is slick and sensible but not sensational.

Shan Blue has 27 lengths to find on Envoi Allen on their last meeting.  Since the Ballymore he has matured into a very good chaser, a win in the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase was followed by a second to Sporting John in the Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase at Sandown.  

But is there a plausible reason to see the unblemished record of Envoi Allen challenged, simply put no.  Let’s just behold a great.

Elsewhere on Thursday it could be worth an interest on Kalashnikov in the Ryanair Chase, he’s a huge price.  He has cheekpieces on for the first time, he has been second in a Supreme, he unseated in the Arkle.  On his return from a wind op, I thought he ran a belter over hurdles in the mud at Haydock, he may well have still need the race when second back over the bigger obstacles at Newbury behind Mister Fisher and the Denman Chase may have been too far for him.

Last year’s winner Lisnagar Oscar for me in the Stayers’ Hurdle, his record proves he runs better in the Spring and his runs this year haven’t been a disaster.  He just couldn’t give the 6lb to Third Wind in the Rendlesham, he should be spot on now to do himself justice.

The Plate is the destination of choice for The Shunter who had many options, he has the carrot of the bonus if he should go on to win and his chase rating lags behind that of his hurdle equivalent so there is room to manoeuvre.

Thu 13:20 - Marsh Novices Chase
Envoi Allen silk

Envoi Allen

Cheltenham Gold Cup
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