13:20 - Marsh Novices’ Chase
Since his 2019 Champion Bumper success Envoi Allen has been seen as many punters festival bankers and this year the eleven race unbeaten favourite is still many peoples best bet of the four day meeting.
It’s rare to see an unbeaten national hunt horse let alone one that has an unbeaten record that stretches all the way to eleven career starts under rules. What’s also worth noting is that only once in those eleven victories did he go off odds against. In all other ten starts he went off the odds on favourite.
Although some fear his recent change of scenery I just can’t go against a horse who’s already a multiple Cheltenham Festival winner and this race looks less competitive than his two previous festival victories. The one to beat to the point that his current odds of 1/2 look slightly generous.
Of the remainder the rest looks very competitive indeed and for those looking to find the one to follow the aforementioned favourite home I’d actually shy away from the second, third and fourth favourites (Chantry House, Shan Blue and Chatham Street Lad)
Course and distance winner Fusil Raffles was touted as a possible Champion Hurdle contender last term but failed to live up to expectations tackling the smaller obstacles. He seems to be rejuvenated over fences and although he’d need to improve further he does still hold a slight touch of class. If he’s capable of living up to the hype he received in his earlier career I’m happy to take a chance on him finishing in the money but sadly just not enough to pose any sort of challenge to Envoi Allen.
ENVOI ALLEN (WIN)
written by Rory Paddock