At Plus Tard, Envoi Allen and Ferny Hollow may all be on the front lines for Cheveley Park Stud in Leopardstown over the holiday season, but Allaho is likely to be missed.
Henry de Bromhead’s A Plus Tard will be a big streak favorite at Savills Chase on December 28, following his glittering return to Betfair Chase in Haydock last month.
The previous afternoon his teammate Envoi Allen could return on the road to Paddy’s Rewards Club Chase after finishing short behind Allaho in the John Durkan in Punchestown, finishing sixth.
Both Envoi Allen and Allaho are also entered for the Ladbrokes King George VI Chase in Kempton, but Cheveley Park director Richard Thompson has ruled out participating in both in the Boxing Day highlight.
He said: “We were delighted to win John Durkan with Allaho. He was fit, having won Ryanair at Cheltenham last season, and he was very gritty that day.
“I think he probably needs a break later. Maybe he’ll have a run in February and then go to Cheltenham, or maybe he’ll go straight to Cheltenham and then Aintree.
“We look to Allaho as a horse that will hopefully last another three or four years, so we’re not that concerned with making him run too much.”
Envoi Allen led the market against Allaho in John Durkan, and Thompson admits he may never realize the enormous potential he showed early in his career.
“Envoi Allen was underwhelming, but maybe this is his form over two and a half miles. He’s still a great horse, but potentially the talking horse isn’t quite what people thought it could be,” he added.
“We are thinking that he will be back away on the 27th, as long as he is in good shape”.
On the opening day of the Leopardstown Christmas Festival, Ferny Hollow will line up for the Grade One Racing Post Novice Chase.
Having been off-track since beating Bob Olinger in a first hurdle last year, Willie Mullins-trained gelding made an excellent start to his chasing career in John Durkan’s undercard.
Thompson said: “He had been out for a year and was also chasing debut so it was great to see him come back and show that acceleration.
“We have high hopes for Ferny Hollow – she could be special. Her form last year was top notch, having beaten Appreciate It in Champion Bumper and Bob Olinger on hurdles.
“I think he’ll be racing in Leopardstown on Boxing Day (Boxing Day), so with him and Envoi Allen and A Plus Tard obviously going back to the Savills, it could be lively for us.”