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'Rachael got some buzz' - Envoi Allen back to brilliant best for De Bromhead

Envoi Allen and Rachael Blackmore win the Grade 2 at Down Royal
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After things went so pear-shaped at Cheltenham and Punchestown, the first emotion for connections of the brilliant Envoi Allen had to have been relief as he got back to winning ways with an emphatic success in this Grade 2 contest.

It was the third year in a row that the seven-year-old started his season off in victorious fashion at this meeting, but it was the first time that his new trainer Henry de Bromhead and rider Rachael Blackmore have enjoyed the winning feeling with the horse.

He looked close to his imperious best here, setting the tempo with Thyestes Chase winner Coko Beach until burning off his rivals from the bypassed third-last and stretching clear with good jumps over the final two fences.

His winning margin was 22 lengths over 200-1 shot Echoes Of Family, who stayed to earn some valuable black type.

Blackmore's smile told it all and she said: “That was a fantastic performance and he'll improve for it. He jumped brilliant.” 

Envoi Allen: will run in the John Durkan at Punchestown on Sunday

Reflecting on last spring to now, De Bromhead said: “To be honest I thought he was in mighty form going to Cheltenham – perhaps he was too fresh and well, and the fall was just an unlucky one.

"At Punchestown things just didn't fall right. He hit the fence so hard and with the trauma of it we thought afterwards that he might have sustained a fracture but thankfully it was a little chip that Gerry Kelly removed and it's fantastic to get him back on track.”

He added: “It's lovely to start like that. He was really good, jumped brilliantly, and you can tell by the smile on Rachael's face what a buzz she got from it. That was a good test for him today and he'll step forward from that.

"I was so focused on this that I haven't really thought beyond it or discussed future plans. The John Durkan at Punchestown would look to be a very obvious race for him but we'll see.”

Asked if there were any plans to step him up in trip, the trainer replied: “I'm not sure, we'll see. He's a very pacy horse, and he could go either way."

Envoi Allen was slashed to 8-1 (from 20) for the King George on Boxing Day and 10-1 (from 12) for the Gold Cup by Paddy Power.

Read more:

Frodon and Frost star again in Champion Chase epic at Down Royal

Fusil Raffles capitalises in Charlie Hall Chase after Shan Blue crashes out

'He can take a while to warm up' – Amoola Gold hits 999-1 in dramatic win

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The John Durkan at Punchestown would look to be a very obvious race for him but we'll see.
E.W. Terms