Potential star Envoi Allen set comeback mission after Cheltenham Festival flop following early fall

ENVOI ALLEN could attempt to set the record straight at Punchestown next month.

The crack novice suffered a shock defeat in the Marsh Novices' Chase following an early fall.

The horse had recently made the switch from Gordon Elliott's stable to Henry De Bromhead after owners Cheveley Park removed their entire string from Elliott.

And connections have reported their seven-year-old got worked up before his Cheltenham assignment.

Cheveley Park managing director Chris Richardson, said: "Before the Festival we thought Envoi Allen might be our winner and the others might go close, but it wasn't to be for him. He'll learn from that.

"Unfortunately he made his first mistake of the season at the wrong time. He was a little upset beforehand, a bit on his toes and Jack Kennedy was trying to get him settled.

"He'd only been in small fields up to now, and with horses around him he probably wasn't focussed on the job in hand.

"Luckily both him and Jack were fine and we can look forward to many more occasions going forward.

"He's in at Fairyhouse over Easter. As long as he's fine, obviously travelling can take a bit out of a horse, Punchestown would probably be favourite I would suspect, but that is something the Thompsons will discuss."

Cheveley still had plenty to cheer as Allaho dazzled in the Ryanair and Sir Gerhard and Quilixios won the Champion Bumper and Trimph Hurdle respectively.

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Richardson added: "Allaho was impressive. I think for my part, two and a half miles suits him really well. Over three miles we were always wondering if he quite got home.

"He's got a great future. Whether we drop him back to two miles or stay and two and a half, he could still get three one day as well. He was spectacular to watch so we're excited to see what he does next.

"Everything looks open to him. Richard Thompson will speak to Willie Mullins, but the Melling Chase at Aintree is an option over two and a half miles, going left-handed, that must be a consideration, but it will all come out in the wash. It's exciting to have a horse of that calibre and he certainly caught the imagination in every way."

A Plus Tard finished an agonising second in the Gold Cup under Rachael Blackmore and could be set for Aintree.

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Richardson added: "I think A Plus Tard showed he stayed the trip well enough and he's only a young horse, hopefully he'll have a few more goes at it. He's only seven.

"We may see him back at Aintree where that track would suit him, if the travelling and the race hasn't taken too much out of him. He needs to go left-handed ideally."

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