It’s day one at the Punchestown Festival and BetVictor Brand Ambassador Rachael Blackmore is here to take you through her rides, which includes the mighty Envoi Allen.
Listen to our chat with Brand Ambassador Rachael Blackmore ahead of the Punchestown Festival on the BetVictor Podcast.
Top Line Tommy
I start day one at Punchestown on Top Line Tommy (3.40) in the Novice Handicap Hurdle.Running most recently on the flat, he was just touched off at Dundalk earlier this month, so he arrives here in good form.
On his last run over hurdles back in October, he was pulled up.
However, he should enjoy the better ground here, so we’re hoping he runs well.
In the Grade One Champion Novice Hurdle, I am on Uhtred (4.15) for Joseph O’Brien. He ran well back in February after being off the track for some time. So, there should be a good bit of improvement in him following that run.
It’s all set up to be a competitive race. Blue Lord and Echoes In Rain set a good standard, however, Uhtred should improve here, and if that materialises, he could be in the mix at the business end.
Next, in the Handicap Hurdle, I’m on Champagne Gold (4.50). He was disappointing at Cheltenham after running very well when 2nd previously at Leopardstown.
Hopefully we can get him back to that kind of form and put a line through his Cheltenham run.
So, if he can put that run behind him and return to his best, he should run a big race.
In the Champion Chase, I’m on Ryanair winner, Allaho (5.25). He was brilliant at Cheltenham. This time around, he has the second and third in the Champion Chase to contend with.
So, it goes without saying that it’s going to be competitive. That said, I’m delighted to be riding him again and if he puts in a similar performance to what we saw in March, he’ll run a big race.
Last but certainly not least, I ride Envoi Allen (6.30) in the Grade One Champion Novice Chase. A lot of things have happened this year that I never thought would happen. Getting to ride Envoi Allen is certainly up there.
I came up against him in the Drinmore when I was on Assemble back in November. We landed upsides going over the second last, and I thought we were about to give him a race. However, I blinked and he was six lengths clear.
He’s an exceptional racehorse, so it goes without saying how much I’m looking forward to riding him.
It’s very unfortunate for Davy Russell to miss out on him again. Hopefully he is on the home stretch with his recovery and it won’t be long until he’s back.
Envoi Allen has settled into Henry’s now, so he’s well and ready to go. Monkfish is certainly a fierce competitor, as is Colreevy, but we couldn’t be happier, and I can’t wait for the race.