Envoi Allen claims third Cheltenham Festival success after winning the Ryanair Chase
The Cheveley Park Stud-owned nine-year-old is a winner of both the Champion Bumper (2019) and Ballymore Novices' Hurdle (2020), but suffered an agonising reversal when sent off favourite for the Prestbury Park hat-trick in 2021, unseating his rider early into the Turners Novices' Chase. He had to settle for a creditable third in last year's Champion Chase but back to an intermediate trip for his latest trip to the four-day showpiece, Henry de Bromhead's charge bounced back to his very best to leave his seventh in the King George at Kempton well in the past. Always travelling menacingly in the hands of Racheal Blackmore, fortune shone on the Irish raider who was almost down on his nose at the third-last - the same fence evens-money favourite Shishkin made a momentum-stopping blunder. However, whereas Shishkin was immediately under pressure to hold his position, Envoi Allen was gathered up by Blackmore and soon in the perfect spot to pounce in the home straight. Eager not to head for home prematurely, the button was pressed approaching the last and the 13/2 winner showed his engine still purrs loudly to stride out to a two-and-three-quarter-length success - with Shishkin bravely rallying for second in the closing stages ahead of Hitman in third.
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