Keith Donoghue’s Weekly Blog: Envoi Allen Still The One They All Have To Beat!

By Keith Donoghue
 |  5 mins
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Keith Donoghue’s Weekly Blog: Envoi Allen Still The One They All Have To Beat!

After another busy week, we are now approaching one of the biggest weekends of racing on the Irish calendar with a particularly huge day on Sunday at Fairyhouse. Gordon's horses continue to run well, so hopefully the team can have another good weekend at our local track.

Easywork In The End For Fury Road

Fury Road and Easywork were nice winners for Gordon and both did everything you could ask of them.

Fury Road won as well as he should've really as the race cut up quite badly in the end. You can't read too much into it with the lack of competition on the day, and there can be no doubts that he will have much bigger tests ahead. Fair play to the Berry, Hogan and Gilligan camps for picking up some decent prize money in behind, it worked out well for them all.

While we didn't learn a whole lot we didn't already know about Fury Road, we got to know much more about Easywork in his race at Gowran Park on Saturday.

He travelled very well and jumped great, which is always nice to see. Mt Leinster has some decent bumper form to his name, so Easywork turned in a good performance overall to win as he did. He is not flashy, but he's improving and it will be interesting to see how he develops.

Gordon has so many top class novices this season that it's very hard to know where exactly he will slot in, but we'll know much more about him when he steps up in class next time.

Thatsy got off the mark on Sunday at Navan, holding off Entoucas which was good as he had somewhat disappointed us twice before that.

The race was overshadowed by the blow to photographer Pat Healy and it's fantastic to know that he's on the mend - it was some hit he took, and he's lucky to be alive really.

After the race it was a very subdued atmosphere in Navan naturally as everybody was very worried about Pat, but thankfully he lives to tell the tale.

I rang him on Sunday night to check on him, and while he was sore, he was in good spirits which he always is.

Get well soon Pat!

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My Own Week

It was a busy week for myself in the saddle as well and while I hit the crossbar once or twice, there was definitely a few promising performances in there.

Definite Plan ran a huge race at Fairyhouse, especially considering we really weren't sure if he'd go on the very soft ground. He handled it great and with a few more strides we probably would have got up past Battle Of Midway.

He's improving, will stay further and is one to have in your notebooks going forward at his level. Definite Plan will make into an even better chaser so it's interesting to see how high he can fly this season.

Also on Tuesday, Important Message felt like a winner in waiting really after a big run at Fairyhouse for David Dunne. The two and a half mile trip caught him out on the day, and he'll be much better back down in distance. He actually travelled too well in the race and I thought three out something might outstay us and unfortunately they did exactly that.

Important Message travelled really sweetly though and will be interesting over a shorter trip at this level.

In Easywork's race on Saturday I rode Arakan Quest who ran well in third for Brian Hamilton at big odds. Those two in front of him are smart horses, so there should definitely be a maiden hurdle in him as these better horses begin to step out of maiden company.

On Sunday I rode Prospectus for Gavin Cromwell in a good beginners chase and he ran his race in fourth. He jumped well and will be one for handicaps in time. He'll find his level and should definitely win races over fences for connections.


I'm happy to report Apple's Jade is in good form ahead of the Hatton's Grace - here's hoping the proper version of her shows up! She unfortunately showed no real spark last time and is working better than she was before Navan anyway, which makes things a bit more positive.

That run has definitely brought her on and I'd be expecting a better performance on Sunday. As I've said in previous blogs, you just don't know what mood she will arrive there in so we'll just have to wait and see. She owes us nothing, but it would be great to see her bounce back as if she was in the same form as last season she would be very hard to beat.

Samcro continues to work very well ahead of the Drinmore Chase and I couldn't be happier with him.

He gave me a brilliant feel at Down Royal and I think he'll improve massively for being in a better race. It looks a class renewal, as it always is, but he should go very well.

The quicker they go, the better Samcro will jump and I think he can reach the very top this season - we should know a lot more after Fairyhouse on Sunday.

Envoi Allen and Abacadabras are set to take each other on in the Royal Bond and this will be a very interesting race with loads of potentially promising rivals entered up from all quarters.

As I've said in a previous blog, I really think Abacadabras will make Envoi Allen properly think about things on Sunday. He's very quick and if his jumping improves he'll put it up to any novice, he's a very good horse in his own right.

As I keep saying, Envoi Allen is something special though and the form of his first win is already working out with the likes of Front View coming out and winning since.

Not much has changed here really, I still love Envoi Allen and he is the one they all have to beat. Hopefully it stays that way after Sunday!

Robbie Power

It's been a great few weeks for Robbie Power, and it's fantastic everyone is seeing how brilliant a jockey he is.

Robbie has won plenty of big races in the past, including a Grand National so we always knew how good he was .

Robbie is getting on good horses and he's making it count, you can't ask for anything else! He's the perfect example of a jockey riding with a lot of confidence and it's great to see.

I can think of countless jockeys in Ireland who are more than good enough if given the chance, but that's racing, there is only so many jobs in the sport. You can spend your career waiting for a good one, so taking your chances like Robbie has been doing helps no end!


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Keith Donoghue is one of the top National Hunt jockeys in the world, famed for his partnership with Tiger Roll winning two Cross Country Chases at the Cheltenham Festival. Keith also boasts a Grade 1 winner over fences, and is a great writer to boot. Keith covered the day to day of being a jockey in his weekly blog exclusive to Bookmakers.

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