Cheveley Park Stud celebrated four winners over the Christmas period, headlined by the Grade 1 triumphs of Ferny Hollow and Envoi Allen. FERNY HOLLOW threw down a marker for the Arkle with victory in the Gr.1 Racing Post Novice Chase on St. Stephen’s Day at Leopardstown. Only three weeks after making his chase debut, Ferny Hollow set a searing pace under Paul Townend, whose mount responded generously in the closing stages to repel the challenge of Riviere D’etel. Ferny Hollow brought up a double on the card for Willie Mullins, who had earlier struck in the maiden hurdle with SIR GERHARD. Last season’s Weatherbys Champion Bumper hero jumped out in front and produced a commanding display under Paul Townend. Sir Gerhard could now head to the Dublin Racing Festival for the Gr.1 Tattersalls Ireland Novice Hurdle.
The following day, ENVOI ALLEN clinched his sixth Gr.1 success in the Paddy’s Rewards Club Chase. Although there were only three runners, the contest turned into a thorough test after the trio went very hard through the middle section of the race. Rachael Blackmore had to get to work on Envoi Allen but he successfully shook off the attentions of dual Gr.1 winner Battleoverdoyen and kept on to land the odds for Henry de Bromhead’s team. The Knockeen trainer also saddled A PLUS TARD to finish a valiant second in the Gr.1 Savills Chase at Leopardstown and QUILIXIOS to finish second in the Gr.2 Boylesports Sporting Limerick Hurdle.
A productive festive period was rounded off by EN BETON, who made a very taking chase debut at Punchestown on New Year’s Day in the hands of Danny Mullins. The Willie Mulllins inmate already looks a totally different proposition over fences and is a horse to keep on side going forwards given he can only improve for this comeback run.