Handicapper’s Blog: Envoi Allen bounces back to form
Envoi Allen bounced back to form to record a third festival success in the Ryanair Chase. Last seen when disappointing in the King George, he was travelling notably better in this race from an early stage and bar a nod on landing 3 out it was fairly plain sailing for the Irish raider who saw his race out strongly dropping back in trip. This was a first success over fences at the festival having previously won the Champion Bumper and the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle, whilst he has now won Grade 1 Chases over 2m1f, 2m5f and 3m. He was rated 163 pre-race, and the proximity of Hitman, French Dynamite and Ga Law who were rated 159, 155 and 152 coming into the race suggests that he has run to a figure in the mid-160s and right up to the best form he had shown previously. A final figure will be decided upon after discussions with my Irish colleagues.
As for the favourite Shishkin, little went right for him on the day in his bid to back up his brilliant performance in the Grade 1 Betfair Ascot Chase. He made a few early errors having found himself crowded between horses before doing well to survive a bad mistake at the third last fence. He rallied bravely to finish second to his credit, but in terms of figures he looks to have run about a stone below the level of his Ascot success.
BHA Handicapper Michael Harris