Envoi Allen out to stamp his authority in Grade 2 bumper
Matheson (C & G) I.N.H. Flat Race (Grade 2) | 2m | 4-7yo | RTV & RTE2
The Irish bumper brigade will face their sternest test in this Grade 2 with all eyes on the Gordon Elliott-trained Envoi Allen, an impressive winner of two bumpers since being snapped up for £400,000 soon after landing his first point-to-point.
Owned by Cheveley Park Stud, an ever-increasing force in jump racing, Envoi Allen is likely to go to post as odds-on favourite under Jamie Codd.
Elliott said: “He came out of his last race very well and I’m happy with him. It does look a very good race and any ease in the ground would be a bonus.”
The trainer’s hand is completed by Run Wild Fred and Abacadabras, partnered by Declan Lavery and Lisa O'Neill.
Willie Mullins won last year's inaugural running of this race with Blackbow and the champion trainer will bid for back-to-back victories for the same connections with Mt Leinster – his only entry in the race.
He said: “Mt Leinster has been a bit disappointing since winning on debut at Ballinrobe and he'll need to step up in what looks a very good race. The ground will suit him.”
Dermot Weld does not keep many jumpers on the go anymore but the two he has kept in training this winter, Lake Takapuna and Neptune, owned by longstanding owner Dr Ronan Lambe, hold obvious claims in their respective races.
On Neptune, an impressive winner of his bumper over 2m4f here at Christmas, Weld said: “He put up a good performance when he won over two and a half miles. Bringing him back in trip isn't ideal but he's improved since and has done well physically."
He added: “It’s a valuable race and it holds Grade 2 status, which is exciting for us. I think he’ll represent us well and he has an each-way chance.”
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