Gordon Elliott has confirmed Envoi Allen will run in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival on Wednesday.
The Cheveley Park Stud-owned six-year-old is unbeaten in seven starts to date and already has a Festival success on his CV, having toughed out victory in the Champion Bumper 12 months ago.
He has long been considered one of the bankers of this year’s meeting, with the Ballymore identified as his likely objective, but Elliott dropped something of a bombshell during the week when he said there was “every possibility” his charge could switch to the Supreme.
However, the Cullentra handler walked the course at Cheltenham on Sunday morning and is happy for his charge to sidestep Tuesday’s curtain-raiser and instead contest the longer of the two novice hurdles the following afternoon.
Speaking on Racing TV’s Luck on Sunday programme, Elliott said: “We walked the track at 7am and it’s beautiful soft ground, yielding to soft probably in places. The track is in great condition.
“If the ground had turned up heavy or soft to heavy, we would have had to consider it (Supreme), but I think it will be beautiful ground on Tuesday and Wednesday, hopefully, so we’re going to go with our original plan.”