Royal Bond Novice Hurdle preview: Envoi Allen can confirm Champion Bumper form at Fairyhouse

14th September 2021

This 2019 Royal Bond Novice Hurdle preview features Envoi Allen at Fairyhouse

The first and fourth home in the Cheltenham Champion Bumper re-oppose in the 2m Grade 1 Royal Bond Novice Hurdle at the Fairyhouse Winter Festival on Sunday (13:00).

Envoi Allen can confirm that form with stable companion Abacadabras.

This unbeaten Cheveley Park Stud owned five-year-old is a course bumper winner on this card 12 months ago.

Prior to that, Envoi Allen landed a 2m 4f Irish point by an easy 10 lengths.

He has since proved effective over the minimum trip in four outings in National Hunt Flat races.

After scoring by four lengths here on his Rules debut, Envoi Allen took the step up into Listed company in his stride at Navan where he won by a similar margin.

The hat-trick came at the Dublin Racing Festival at Grade 2 level around Leopardstown.

Envoi Allen was thus a hot favourite for the Champion Bumper, where he ran on gamely and found extra to hold Blue Sari by three-quarters of a length.

That Cheltenham Festival race has thrown up all sorts of hurdles winners. They include the runner-up, third home Thyme Hill – a dual Grade 2 scorer since – and fourth.

With the Champion Bumper working out so well, Envoi Allen is a hot prospect in this sphere.

That view was confirmed on reappearance when made all and jumped well on reappearance and hurdles bow in a Down Royal maiden. Connections pitch Envoi Allen straight back into Grade 1 company here.

He has all the attributes to go to the top over jumps and, with Davy Russell again in the saddle, looks a worthy 4/5 favourite with Unibet to land the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle.

Abacadabras the forecast choice

Aforementioned stable companion Abacadabras represents the mighty Gigginstown House Stud who won this two years ago with Mengli Khan.

This five-year-old has almost six lengths to find on Envoi Allen on Champion Bumper form.

After winning his racecourse debut at Galway, Abacadabras ran out behind his rival in that Leopardstown Grade 2.

He was then far from disgraced when fourth at Cheltenham or when beaten a length in the Punchestown Champion Bumper.

Abacadabras was giving a 7lb sex allowance away to Colreevy, so it was a fine effort in defeat. He has since had two runs over hurdles this season and won both.

As Abacadabras only needed pushing out to win a Gowran Park maiden easing down by 5 1/2 lengths on reappearance and then followed-up in Grade 3 company at Navan, he is entitled to another crack at Envoi Allen.

With his form the clear second best on offer, Abacadabras makes a solid forecast bet at 4/1 with SportNation in the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle.

The fact that connections skipped the Monksfield Novice Hurdle last weekend for this also looks significant.

However, Gigginstown have three horses in the line-up. Their other two are trained by Joseph O’Brien and Midnight Run lowered the colours of Colreevy on his hurdles bow.

This five-year-old son of Well Chosen previously chased home Envoi Allen in a Listed bumper at Navan.

Midnight Run is a solid each-way alternative at 15/2 with BetVictor on those runs under Rachael Blackmore.

Embittered completes the Gigginstown trio, but doesn’t have the same level of form as their other horses.

Don’t discount Foveros in Royal Bond Novice Hurdle

Despite Elliott’s strong hand this year, Willie Mullins is the most successful trainer in the race’s history.

The County Carlow handler has saddled eight previous winners of the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle. Mullins has two in this renewal, and Foveros looks the pick of the pair.

This four-year-old son of Authorized has won three of his four starts for the stable after joining from France. Foveros won a Cork maiden hurdle by eight lengths on debut for the yard in May.

Although then chinned closed home by Morosini at Ballinrobe next time up, he was giving a 7lb penalty to the winner.

After resuming winning ways over further at the Galway Festival, Foveros proved he handled soft ground after a break around the same venue in October.

He stayed on well and asserted close home for a 2 3/4 lengths success over Quartz Du Rheu.

Now down in trip, Foveros cannot be discounted as the Mullins stable is on a 40 per cent strike rate with its runners in the last 14 days at the time of writing.

Odds of 16/1 with Bethard for the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle may be worth chancing each-way, but he does need to improve.

Fast Buck also represent the yard, but is a rank outsider after finishing a weakening fifth to Abacadabras in that Grade 3 last time out.

His record on a softer surface isn’t so good. That explains why he’s such a big 40/1 price with William Hill.

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