Ruby Walsh has shed some light on the performances of Chacun Pour Soi and Envoi Allen at the Cheltenham Festival after both short-priced favourites failed to deliver at Prestbury Park.
Chacun Pour Soi came home third in the Queen Mother Champion Chase behind Put The Kettle On and Nube Negra while Envoi Allen fell at the third fence in the Marsh Novices’ Chase, breaking the hearts of punters far and wide.
Speaking on the latest episode of Paddy Power’s From The Horse’s Mouth podcast, our resident jockey-turned pundit explained why things might have gone wrong for the pair at the festival.
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Politologue coming out of the Champion Chase had a big bearing on the race and how Chacun Pour Soi ran. With Politologue out [due to a bleeding nose], the race lacked real pace.
First Flow never went, and there were too many horses involved going away from the third last and heading to the second last.
Maybe Chacun Pour Soi didn’t get up the hill, but it looked a slowly run race to my eye and he got worn out of it in the end. It was a messy race.
Put The Kettle On may be able to put it up to Shishkin next year, but the pace of the race definitely helped her. However, whichever way you look at it she’s an Arkle winner and a Champion Chase winner. She’s a mare I’ve completely got wrong all through her career, because she is a way better mare than I ever thought she was.
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Envoi Allen got too buzzed up. He was excitable and agitated at the start, and he was racing too keenly with Jack Kennedy.
He then stood too far back off the third fence, got his feet on top of it and couldn’t get them out quick enough to land so knuckled over. That can happen.
We heard a lot in the past about him being a quirky individual. I never saw it before but we certainly saw it last Thursday and he paid for it.
You could easily say that there is an angle to Envoi Allen having switched yards just weeks before the festival. But what Henry de Bromhead would have done is the same as what Willie Mullins did with Sir Gerhard, and what Henry himself did with Quilixios. You just tick them over, keeping them fresh and well.
Maybe Envoi Allen was too fresh, but that’s just a ‘maybe’ and might not have had anything to do with it. But you can most certainly point a finger in that direction because you can never disprove that it wasn’t a factor.
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