DONN MCCLEAN: Day Two of The Festival includes many peoples’ NAP of the week Envoi Allen, and fan favourite Tiger Roll. Check out Donn McClean’s preview of the day.

⭕ Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle

ENVOI ALLEN (pictured) is seen by many as one of the bankers of the week and I find it very hard to fault him. He’s unbeaten and the way he did it at Naas the last day suggested he had plenty more in the tank. He’s a seriously impressive horse and has that all important Cheltenham Festival form too, so he’s a more than worthy favourite.

He could easily be one of those horses that we don’t come across very often and he has all the attributes to be a real superstar. I haven’t backed him and it’s a very strong Ballymore, but I’d be surprised if he was beaten.

Given Samcro went off for this race odds-on and Envoi Allen is currently available at 2.25, you could argue he’s a very good price. Gordon Elliott holds him in such high regard and I think a lot of racing fans will want to see him win because he has the potential to be one we’re talking about for a long time to come.

⭕ RSA Novices’ Chase

I’m a fan of MINELLA INDO in this and he looks a good bet at 4.0. He’s rock-solid and although he was 50/1 when he won the Albert Bartlett last year, he did it in very impressive fashion. He was a little keen that day and it’s no mean feat to lead from as far out as he did and win as well as he did, so he’s a horse with loads of ability.

He does lack a bit of experience having only had two runs over fences, but he shaped well at Gowran Park on his chase debut and the form of his Navan win looks solid with Captain CJ winning since. He’ll have to step forward to win an RSA, but based on what he’s done so far there’s no reason to suggest he won’t. There’s an awful lot to like about him.

⭕ Cross Country

If TIGER ROLL were to win the Cross Country, it would make him a five-time Cheltenham Festival winner and what an amazing achievement that would be. I expect him to get the job done again, though Easysland won’t go down easily. He was very good in December at Cheltenham and the fact JP McManus has bought him since is obviously significant too.

Him being in there makes it interesting for sure, but Tiger Roll is rated 20lbs higher than the French raider and it’s hard to see past him. He loves the track and 1.9 looks a pretty accurate reflection of his chance.

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