Envoi Allen predictably outclassed his rivals as he made a foot-perfect start to his career over fences at Down Royal.
Bought for £400,000 by Cheveley Park Stud, Gordon Elliott’s unbeaten six-year-old has so far lived up to his hefty price tag, with his eight previous wins under Rules including a pair of Cheltenham Festival triumphs in the Champion Bumper and the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle.
Faced with just four rivals in the Advanced NI Scaffolding Beginners Chase – a race his trainer had won with the top-class pair of Delta Work and Samcro in the last two years – Envoi Allen was a prohibitively priced 1-14 favourite under Jack Kennedy.
After initially bouncing out in front when the tapes went up, Envoi Allen was then given a lead by rank outsider Soi Cowboy for much of the two-and-a-half-mile contest, before taking over again racing down the back straight.
Jumping accurately throughout, the six-year-old stamped his authority on the race from the home turn – safely negotiating the final two obstacles and quickening up smartly under hand driving to score by six lengths from January Jets.
Sky Bet Paddy Power trimmed his odds from 5-2 to 9-4 for the Marsh Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham next March, while Coral offer just 2-1.
Elliott said: “Brilliant! You loved the way he switched off and went by them, you just love his attitude. You couldn’t be happier.
“Jack (Kennedy) said he popped away and he quickened after the second-last. That’s what he was bought for, he’s a chaser and it’s nice to get that out of the way.
“He was good and coming out of Colin Bowe’s (where he won his point-to-point). he had plenty of work done (over fences).
“I imagine all being well he will go for the Drinmore at Fairyhouse.”
Source : Sky Sports