The unbeaten Cheltenham champion Bumper winner Envoi Allen will look to continue the hot festive form of trainer Gordon Elliott in the Lawlor's of Naas Grade One Novice Hurdle on Sunday.
Elliott won the race last year with Battleoverdoyen and knows this trip will suit Envoi Allen. "It's a good race, I think two and a half miles will suit him," Elliott told Off The Ball recently.
Half a dozen runners will be in opposition to Envoi Allen on Sunday as Elliott looks to win the stable's fifth Grade One race since Christmas.
WHAT A LINE UP! 💫
7 out of 8 declare for the @LawlorsNaas Grade 1 Novice Hurdle this Sunday headed by the highest rated Novice Hurdler in training in 🇮🇪 ENVOI ALLEN!👇#LawlorsDay #Grade1 #NaasRC pic.twitter.com/FJHgJF5J2Y
— Naas Racecourse (@NaasRacecourse) January 3, 2020
Cheltenham Festival winning trainer Martin Brassil will be hoping to unearth another potential leading novice hurdler as Longhouse Poet features in a field of seven for the Grade One Lawlor's Of Naas Novice Hurdle.
Brassil landed the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham last season with City Island in the same colours of Sean and Bernardine Mulryan. The Curragh-based trainer appears to have another smart prospect on his hands in the shape of Longhouse Poet.
"Longhouse Poet won his maiden nicely and he is probably going into the deep-end a little in a Grade 1 against experienced horses," Brassil said. "The trip will suit him and we'll find out his level on Sunday."
Davy Russell is confident of being fit to take the ride on Envoi Allen after a fall at Fairyhouse on New Year's Day.
Russell is excited about the horse: "Envoi Allen is a big strong horse with a lot of ability. Gordon has done a fantastic job with the horse and everyone seems happy with him at home.
“His form is rock solid and we are really happy with him. It’s a pleasure to be around him."
Gordon Elliott will also run Conflated in the opening Grade 1 of the calendar year, while Joseph O'Brien is also double-handed in the race as he has declared Midnight Run and the highly progressive Anything Will Do.
This will be the sixth renewal of the Lawlor's Of Naas Novice Hurdle as a Grade 1 contest and Willie Mullins has won three of them with Mckinley, Bellshill and Next Destination and his sole representative on Sunday is the JP McManus-owned Elixir D'ainay.
Elixir D'ainay is a course and distance winner having defeated Longhouse Poet in a maiden hurdle back in November.
For a chance to win tickets to Naas on Sunday, tune into Friday Night Racing on Off The Ball later today on OTB social channels and on Newstalk.