Cheltenham Festival News

Jack Kennedy confirmed as first-choice for Envoi Allen, Quilixios and Ballyadam

Thu 4 Mar 2021

By Nick Seddon

Henry de Bromhead has spoken about Cheveley Park Stud’s decision to send him leading Cheltenham candidates including Envoi Allen, Ballyadam and Quilixios and confirmed that Jack Kennedy will remain as the rider for all three at the Festival, provided he is available.

 Envoi Allen and Kennedy will remain reunited at the Festival (Pic: FocusOnRacing)
Envoi Allen and Kennedy will remain reunited at the Festival (Pic: FocusOnRacing)

The horses arrived at de Bromhead’s yard on Tuesday and the trainer revealed he has already had “a really helpful” phone conversation with Gordon Elliott, who until this week had been responsible for the contenders, only for the owners to take the decision to move them in the light of the emergence of a widely-shared image on social media that triggered an investigation by the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board.

De Bromhead said: “It’s obviously not the circumstances of how you’d like to get horses, but these are the horses everyone’s trying to get and I feel fortunate that Cheveley Park have decided to send them to us. The three that are entered for Cheltenham include Envoi Allen and he seems great.

“They came down and they looked great when they arrived here, so it’s just a case of trying to tick them over and not let the change of regime upset them too much. If we can do as good a job as Gordon has done with them, we’ll be delighted.

“They arrived on Tuesday evening, and we’re just letting them settle in. They’re cantering away. You wouldn’t be working them but they’re hacking away and they’re great.”

Asked if he would feel any extra pressure attached to training horses which had been successful elsewhere, de Bromhead said: “Of course you would a bit, but you’re just trying to do it as best as you can and get them there as best you can.

“It is a big change for them and you try and keep it as simple as possible but it is a big change. But they seem good and they’ve settled in really well, so we’ll just tick them over and try and get them there in good shape.”

Envoi Allen is already a dual Festival winner having taken the Grade One Weatherbys Champion Bumper in 2019 and the Grade One Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle last year. This time around his aim is the Grade One Marsh Novices’ Chase.

De Bromhead said: “He’s a gorgeous horse and we feel very fortunate that Cheveley Park have sent him to us.

“Quixilios is in both the Fred Winter and the Triumph. I haven’t really firmed up on that as yet, so we’ll discuss that with Cheveley Park at the time as see what we’d like to do. He’s in both, so we’ll see nearer the time. Quixilios seems good. We’re only hacking away but he seems to have taken it in his stride.

“I would imagine we’re leaning towards the Supreme with Ballyadam, but we’ll keep our options open.

“Jack (Kennedy) has ridden him all year and he will ride the three of them if he is available.”

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