Ruby Walsh: Allaho and Envoi Allen could change trip at Punchestown Festival

Punchestown Festival has the potential to be epic


Ruby Walsh has speculated that Allaho and Envoi Allen could be run over different trips to those contested at Cheltenham with both star chasers tipped to race at the Punchestown Festival in April.

Allaho was a dominant winner of the 2m4½f Ryanair Chase for Willie Mullins at Prestbury Park while Henry de Bromhead’s Envoi Allen fell at the third fence when odds-on favourite in the 2m4f Marsh Novices’ Chase.

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The pair could return to the track at Punchestown next month but will be forced to compete over alternative trips with no middle-distance contest on the cards at the five-day festival.

Speaking on the latest episode of Paddy Power’s From The Horse’s Mouth podcast, our resident jockey-turned-pundit is expecting a number of the 23 Irish winners from Cheltenham to race again in County Kildare and can’t wait for the action to get underway.

Willie Mullins said that Allaho gave the performance of the week from among his own horses.

You thought, when they came across the middle of the track to join the racecourse proper, that Paul Townend [on Min] and Rachael Blackmore were taking each other on and that this race would fall apart for somebody in behind them. But it didn’t.

Min was the only horse that went with Allaho and he paid the price for it, but the others never landed a glove on them. It was spectacular to watch.

We have definitely figured out that Allaho doesn’t want 3m1f, but whether we have ultimately got it right at 2m5f or 2m4f… who knows?

Allaho Rachael Blackmore Ryanair Chase Cheltenham March 18, 2021

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There is no middle-distance race at the Punchestown Festival so he either comes down in trip to possibly take on Put The Kettle On and Chacun Pour Soi or he goes up to potentially take on Minella Indo and Al Boum Photo.

He’s already tried the latter at Leopardstown and it didn’t work, so I could see him coming down. Willie Mullins has won four Ryanair Chases, but I don’t think he’s won a Champion Chase so it could come down to that.

We could see Envoi Allen at the Ryanair Gold Cup at Fairyhouse in April, depending on how he came out of his fall.

But you could also see him at Punchestown too, potentially coming back in trip to take on Energumene or going out in trip to take on Monkfish. Punchestown could be incredible.


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