Gordon Elliott last night in London at Betfair's annual Cheltenham festival preview night dropped one of the biggest bombs so far in the lead up to the festival stating that his star novice hurdler Envoi Allen could be rerouted to the Supreme Novices' Hurdle.
The Cheveley Park owned gelding is unbeaten on all eight of his starts during his career, winning a point to point and then landing four bumpers on the bounce including the Grade One Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham festival.
This season the unbeaten French exploit has had three tries over hurdles starting at Down Royal where he picked up from where he left off seeing off a decent field of novices and jumping to a good standard.
Fairyhouse was next on the agenda, again over two miles and it was his first piece of Grade One action of the season taking on his stablemate Abacadabras and beating him nicely showing a clear turn of pace.
Envoi Allen has proven that he is the best two mile novice hurdler in the sport at the moment but with Gordon Elliott having plenty of stars in that division and the betting suggesting that he will be even better over two and half miles the Ballymore Novices Hurdle became the most obvious route he would follow.
With that in mind he went to Naas just over Christmas for the Grade One Lawlor’s Of Naas Novice Hurdle over an extended trip and he went on to win again quite comfortably.
However, with all the build up to the festival always changing Elliott dropped the bombshell that “there’s every possibility” that Envoi Allen could end up racing over two miles due to the testing conditions currently at the track.
Talking Thursday evening, Elliott said: “There’s every possibility I’ll switch him back to the Supreme Novice.
“I’ve been speaking to (trainer) Olly Murphy over the last few days, he doesn’t live that far from Cheltenham and he says it hasn’t stopped raining.
"We got off the plane today at half one and from then until now it hasn’t stopped raining. For me it is a big worry.
“I was planning to go over to Cheltenham on Sunday evening, but I’m going to go on Saturday evening now and walk the track on Sunday morning, specifically for him.
“I don’t think soft ground will bother him, but just at this stage of his career, whether he wants a slog over two miles and five or not is the worry. “I think two miles isn’t a problem, he won the Royal Bond, he’s seven from seven so far, but six out of seven were over two miles.
“He was close to being favourite for the Champion Hurdle, so he’s not a slow horse. I will go for the race I think is best.
“The race I pinpointed for him was the Ballymore all season, I thought the ground would be beautiful, but it looks like being softer this year than normal, so I will do what I think is best for the horse, the owners and myself.”