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'Envoi Allen looking the real...
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'Envoi Allen looking the real deal ahead of Naas Grade One' | Friday Night Racing

Jake O'Donnell
Jake O'Donnell

19:58 3 Jan 2020

Unbeaten Cheltenham Champion Bumper winner Envoi Allen may be the headline show at Naas this weekend but CEO of the Irish National Stud, Cathal Beale, says Sunday's Grade One isn't just a penalty kick for the six-year-old. 

Envoi Allen cost owners Cheveley Park £400,000 at the Tattersalls Ireland Cheltenham February Sale after he won his sole point-to-point start for Colin Bowe and has been raising eyebrows with his wins under the care of Gordon Elliott.

A win at the Cheltenham Champion Bumper made him four from four in that sphere before running in Grade One company over hurdles in the Royal Bond at Fairyhouse, and speaking on Friday Night Racing, Beale admitted the horse looks the real deal.

"There's an awful lot of unexposed horses in here," Beale said of the Lawlor's Hotel Grade One Novice Hurdle at Naas on Sunday.

"There's a lot of them with ones beside their name so it's not just a penalty kick for Envoi Allen. But look, everything we've seen from him so far suggests he could be very much the real deal. He started off as the 2/1 favourite for the bumper last year in Cheltenham; that's pretty much unheard of."

Adding to the praise of the Gordon Elliott-trained horse, Off The Ball's Thom Malone noted his apparent comfort over hurdles in the past: "His pace over the hurdles for a big horse is out of this world he's clearly a chaser in the making, physically he is a chaser, but the way that he flicks over the top of the hurdles is fantastic."

"I was saying this earlier as well, good hurdlers are smashing to watch," Friday Night Racing's Johnny Ward noted.

"I know it's beautiful to see the way, say, Al Boum Photo was over a fence at Tramore but the likes of Harchibald, when you just see them making ground on everyone else, it's just beautiful to watch and this guy is the real deal at his hurdles.

"He is so professional considering he went straight out from a maiden hurdle into the Royal Bond. Just a couple of aspects to this race, a lot of people want to see him in the Ballymore at Cheltenham and a lot of people have backed him and want him to run very well here."

Sunday's Lawlor's Hotel Grade One Novice Hurdle at Naas is the first top-level race of 2020 and a win for Envoi Allen would mark Elliott's stable's fifth Grade One win since Christmas.


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Envoi Allen Friday Night Racing Grade One Naas Racecourse

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