Chris Richardson, Cheveley Park Stud’s managing director has gone through the owners plans for their horses off the back of the Cheltenham festival, summing up what will be next for the stars, starting with the disappointing Envoi Allen.
Now with Henry de Bromhead following his switch from Gordon Elliott, the oracle in Ireland unfortunately suffered his first ever defeat in his career when falling in the Marsh Novices' Chase when going off as the 2/5 favourite.
For the superstar owners he was the only blip across the four days with them celebrating three winners and two seconds.
(Credit ATR) “Before the Festival we thought Envoi Allen might be our winner and the others might go close, but it wasn’t to be for him. He’ll learn from that,” said Chris Richardson.
“Unfortunately he made his first mistake of the season at the wrong time. He was a little upset beforehand, a bit on his toes and Jack (Kennedy) was trying to get him settled.
“He’d only been in small fields up to now, and with horses around him he probably wasn’t focussed on the job in hand. Luckily both him and Jack were fine and we can look forward to many more occasions going forward.
“He’s in at Fairyhouse over Easter. As long as he’s fine, obviously travelling can take a bit out of a horse, Punchestown would probably be favourite I would suspect, but that is something the Thompsons will discuss.”
Arguably one of the teams best winners of the week was the impressive Allaho, who breezed away from a superb field in the Ryanair.
“Allaho was impressive. I think for my part, two and a half miles suits him really well. Over three miles we were always wondering if he quite got home,” said Richardson.
“He’s got a great future. Whether we drop him back to two miles or stay and two and a half, he could still get three one day as well. He was spectacular to watch so we’re excited to see what he does next.
“Everything looks open to him. Richard Thompson (owner) will speak to Willie (Mullins), but the Melling Chase at Aintree is an option over two and a half miles, going left-handed, that must be a consideration, but it will all come out in the wash. It’s exciting to have a horse of that calibre and he certainly caught the imagination in every way.”
Cheveley Park have now landed the Champion Bumper for the last three season with Envoi Allen winning in 2019, Ferny Hollow last year and Sir Gerhard this term and now the pressure is on to produce another strong candidate for the 2022 renewal.
Quilixios carried the Cheveley colours to victory in the Triumph Hurdle and the team are excited about where this horse can go next year.
“Going into the race he was four from four and by then Rachael (Blackmore) was just full of confidence and gave him a fantastic ride. It was a stellar performance and confirmed how good he potentially is,” said Richardson.
Finally, their second in the Gold Cup with A Plus Tard although running a great race may be their best chance to land the race for a while, but the Cheveley Park team are not looking back and are only looking forward with this horse, with Aintree certainly on the agenda.
Richardson said: “I think A Plus Tard showed he stayed the trip well enough and he’s only a young horse, hopefully he’ll have a few more goes at it. He’s only seven.
“We may see him back at Aintree where that track would suit him, if the travelling and the race hasn’t taken too much out of him. He needs to go left-handed ideally.”