The Cheveley Park Stud-owned nine-year-old is a winner of both the Champion Bumper (2019) and Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle (2020), but suffered an agonising reversal when sent off favourite for the Prestbury Park hat-trick in 2021, unseating his rider early into the Turners Novices’ Chase.
He had to settle for a creditable third in last year’s Champion Chase but back to an intermediate trip for his latest trip to the four-day showpiece, Henry de Bromhead’s charge bounced back to his very best to leave a disappointing showing in the King George at Kempton well in the past.
Always travelling menacingly in the hands of Racheal Blackmore, fortune shone on the Irish raider who was almost down on his nose at the third-last – the same fence evens-money favourite Shishkin made a momentum-stopping blunder.
However, whereas Shishkin was immediately under pressure to hold his position, Envoi Allen was gathered up by Blackmore and soon in the perfect spot to pounce in the home straight.
Eager not to head for home prematurely, the button was pressed approaching the last and the 13-2 winner showed his engine still purrs loudly to stride out to a two-and-three-quarter-length success – with Shishkin bravely rallying for second in the closing stages ahead of Hitman in third.
"A phenomenal week so far," De Bromhead tells Tom Stanley
De Bromhead said: “It’s great for the Thompsons (Cheveley Park Stud) as they are great supporters of ours and the industry. It’s just brilliant.
“I kept saying to Richard (Thompson) that he is as good as he was before he went to Kempton, I was so happy with him before the King George, we really fancied him, but like a few of ours who went to England in the first half of the season, he just never showed up. A Plus Tard (Betfair Chase) and Arctic Bresil (Ladbrokes Trophy) just never ran their races.
“Nothing came to light, A Plus Tard had obvious reasons but not the other two. They were all beaten after four fences. I thought it might have been water and various other bits but anyway we left no stone and whatever we did seems to be working again.
“I was really happy the whole race, but there was a chance he was doing too much. He was jumping so well. Rachael felt early on he might have been doing too much, but then he settled. He’s a class horse. Everyone was delighted with him and I was hoping he would put his best foot forward and he did.”
A Plus Tard defends his Gold Cup crown on Friday in the same colours, and De Bromhead added: “You’d have to be a little more confident after that, but they are all individuals.
“The amount of people, our friends and family who have travelled over, and Michael O’Leary and Ryanair naming the race (Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle) in honour of Jack (de Bromhead), makes this week very special.”