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Gordon Elliott considering Supreme switch for Envoi Allen

Ballymore favourite could be rerouted to day one at Cheltenham.

Envoi Allen: has won seven out of seven.
Envoi Allen: has won seven out of seven.

GORDON ELLIOTT HAS said “there’s every possibility” Envoi Allen could contest the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival rather than lining up on day two.

The six-year-old has dominated the market for the two-mile-five-furlong Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle on the second afternoon of action, but testing ground could prompt Elliott to rethink his plan and drop back to two miles instead.

Envoi Allen won the Champion Bumper at the meeting last year and he arrives unbeaten in seven starts, including three over hurdles this term.

Having won at Grade One level over two miles as well as two and a half, Elliott would have no qualms about switching back in distance.

Speaking at a Betfair preview on Thursday evening, Elliott said: “There’s every possibility I’ll switch him back to the Supreme Novice.

“I’ve been speaking to (trainer) Olly Murphy over the last few days, he doesn’t live that far from Cheltenham and he says it hasn’t stopped raining. We got off the plane today at 1.30pm and from then until now it hasn’t stopped raining. For me it is a big worry.

“I was planning to go over to Cheltenham on Sunday evening, but I’m going to go on Saturday evening now and walk the track on Sunday morning, specifically for him.

“I don’t think soft ground will bother him, but just at this stage of his career, whether he wants a slog over two miles and five or not is the worry.

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“I think two miles isn’t a problem, he won the Royal Bond, he’s seven from seven so far, but six out of seven were over two miles.

“He was close to being favourite for the Champion Hurdle, so he’s not a slow horse. I will go for the race I think is best.

“The race I pinpointed for him was the Ballymore all season, I thought the ground would be beautiful, but it looks like being softer this year than normal, so I will do what I think is best for the horse, the owners and myself.”

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