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The Cheltenham festival now feels like it was an eternity ago, as we see event after event cancelled and racing stopped in the UK.
This includes the Grand National, which was cancelled and came as a major shock to the racing world. It is not just racing that is feeling the effects, as the economy continues to struggle and both the Olympic Games and European championships have now been moved to next year. This is leading to record numbers of punters moving over to casino-based games instead of their usual sports betting each week, with many using a list of non-uk casinos here. These are proving popular for overseas punters, who are usually avid followers of UK racing.
As mentioned, the Cheltenham festival did go ahead, despite many calling for the event to be cancelled. It turned out to be another very successful week for the Irish, as they landed the Prestbury cup AGAIN, with both Mullins and Elliott leading the way. One horse that really stood out over the four days was Envoi Allen, who is now clearly the real deal and looks set to be the next star of national hunt racing.
The six year old is trained by Gordon Elliott and owned by Cheveley park stud. He has now won each of his eight starts under rules, and has now achieved an RPR of 161 in his recent start. The horse continues to progress with each start and is held in the highest regard by connections and they certainly know a champion when they see one, that includes a recent Gold cup winner in Don Cossack, who landed the race in 2016.
Envoi Allen came into the current season with a huge reputation and big things expected. He was unbeaten in five starts that culminated with an impressive battling success in the champion bumper. He opened up this campaign over hurdles with three impressive victories and that is why he was sent off such a short priced favourite in the Ballymore on the second day of the festival.
Envoi Allen was held up well off the pace at Cheltenham and based on the finishing results, you could see it was a major positive to be up with the pace. As the second and third placed horses had pulled clear of the field, with a long way back to the rest. Envoi travelled well for much of the race and was still six lengths down turning for home. However, he made the ground up with ease to take up the running going to the last. He was then pushed clear up the run-in to win by just over four lengths.
— CheltenhamRacecourse (@CheltenhamRaces) March 11, 2020
Envoi Allen looks a very special horse and expectations will now be high as he goes over fences. Could he yet be a future Gold cup winner in waiting?