Hopefully by now most of you will have seen my list of horses to follow https://boylantalkssport.com/2020/10/30/horses-to-follow-2020-21/ for the current National Hunt season. It’s the first time in a few years such a compilation was collated. One thing that hasn’t changed is that the most arduous task in this instance is eventually settling on what to leave out rather than which promising steeds to include.
Not for the first time, that caveat itself needs an asterisk itself because even within the Gordon Elliott yard itself it was quite the conundrum trying to settle on who the luckless ones not to make the cut would be. However, one equine luminary who never in danger of being left on the cold list was ENVOI ALLEN
Now, it has often been the case that horses which won the Champion Bumper don’t train on to fulfill what appeared to be their immense potential at that time. Think of the likes of Cousin Vinny and Dunguib and Relegate who didn’t reach anywhere near the heights expected after capturing the only Flat race during the best four days of sport every day.
There would appear to be absolutely no such concerns about the highlighted Cullentra resident though. After turning the aforementioned flat race into a procession in 2019 – akin to what the sadly ill-fated Fayonagh had done the previous season – the Chevely Park representative did likewise with a novice hurdle thence eight months ago.
On the evidence of the gelding’s chasing bow, the biggest obstacle the Elliott camp may face is the temptaation to go straight for the goodies available at chasing’s top table. The only thing is, such is the quality of stock available to Gordon in the chase department they may not have to unleash their biggest weapon beyond his own sphere.
Then again, if one was to regard this weekend’s two day meet at Down Royal as the start of the jumps campaign in earnest, the weekend’s events provided an ample demonstration of the awesome artillery the Summerhill native can call on in every facet of his area of expertise.
Indeed, if you wanted to be forensically analytical about his weaponry, it could be said that the Cheveley Park Stud operation increasing their investment in the National Hunt arena could very easily be the difference required to eventually get Gordon his maiden Trainer’s Championship.
While the prospect of Gigginstown House Stud fading out of jump racing still feels unfathomable, unnecessary and even unfair, they still have plenty of young stock in Longwood which, when combined with the UK based stud mentioned above, J. P. McManus, Robocur, Phililp J. Reynolds and, perhaps principally, Noel Moran, in any other era would surely guarantee Martin Pipe’s former protege the title he has been so close to in recent years.
Quilixious, Sir Gerhard, Farouk D’alene and Chemical Energy – to name less than a handful – look like stars in the making. Mind you, the mightily horsepowered machine in Closutton hasn’t even been greased yet.