HENRY de Bromhead believes Envoi Allen should be well suited to the test that he will face in the Ladbrokes King George VI Chase and he admits he is ‘excited’ about seeing him tackle the iconic Boxing Day feature at Kempton Park.
The Cheveley Park Stud-owned eight year old gelding will bid to give the County Waterford handler a first victory in the festive Grade 1 prize, which he saddled 2021 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Minella Indo in 12 months ago.
Although Minella Indo failed to complete on that occasion de Bromhead is confident of a different outcome with Envoi Allen, who made his first completed start over three miles a triumphant one in last month’s Grade 1 Ladbrokes Champion Chase at Down Royal.
De Bromhead said today: “Everything has been good. We decided we would go for the King George after Down Royal if it went well and thankfully it did.
“He seems good and Rachael (Blackmore) schooled him this morning. We are happy with him and happy to give it a go.
Envoi Allen is currently trading at 7/1 with sponsor Ladbrokes, with the market headed at 7/4 by L'Homme Presse.
de Bromhead continued: “I think Down Royal was a proper Grade 1 performance. It was a good race and it is always a hard race to win but he did it well in the end.
“He has got a really high cruising speed but it was lovely to see him run through the line like he did and it looks like three miles really does suit him.
Envoi Allen failed to complete either of his first two starts upon joining de Bromhead from Gordon Elliott in March 2021 after falling in what was the Marsh Novices’ Chase at The Cheltenham Festival and pulling up in the Champion Novice Chase at Punchestown.
After making a winning return over two and a half miles in a Grade 2 at Down Royal last season, Envoi Allen spent much of the season campaigned over shorter trips, however de Bromhead felt his future was always going to lie going back up in distance.
“He was probably a bit disappointing in the John Durkan so we decided to drop him back in trip. In fairness he won his Grade 1 at Christmas then he was third in the Champion Chase at Cheltenham.
“To be honest if Allaho wasn’t around we would have probably headed for the Ryanair Chase last season.
“Cheveley Park already had A Plus Tard in the Gold Cup but that seemed too big a step up in trip at the time so we decided to try the Champion Chase. Again he ran really well but it wasn’t his trip.”
Should Envoi Allen secure Grade 1 victory number eight of his career on Boxing Day it could lead to de Bromhead having a strong hand for the Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup with reigning champion A Plus Tard already among his ranks.