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Love Envoi Relishes Sandown Switch Ahead of Rescheduled Fighting Fifth Hurdle
In a surprising turn of events, Love Envoi and her trainer Harry Fry find themselves in a fortuitous position as the rescheduled Fighting Fifth Hurdle moves to Sandown. Originally scheduled to face off against Constitution Hill at Newcastle, the race was unfortunately abandoned due to wintry conditions. However, the British Horseracing Authority swiftly stepped in and saved the prestigious Champion Hurdle trial by relocating it to Sandown.
Fry expressed his satisfaction with the change, stating: “We were disappointed about Newcastle losing their fixture but grateful that the race found a new home on a track that suits us well.” Love Envoi has an impeccable record at Sandown, boasting three victories out of three races. Notably, she triumphed in last year’s handicap hurdle during this very meeting.
The switch from Newcastle to Sandown brings about more than just a change of scenery for Love Envoi. The two-mile course at Sandown places greater emphasis on stamina compared to its original counterpart. Fry believes this alteration will work in their favor and is undoubtedly pleased with the decision: “From our point of view, we’re very happy.”
A Challenge Awaits
Nicky Henderson’s stable may present formidable competition as he considers entering not only Constitution Hill but also esteemed stablemate Shishkin into Saturday’s race card. Henderson views this as an opportunity for Shishkin to gain valuable preparation ahead of his intended challenge in the King George VI Chase on Boxing Day.
However, Fry remains focused on his own horse’s prospects and brushes aside any concerns over rival entries: “Conditions shouldn’t be a problem; it’s an ideal starting point for her campaign.” While acknowledging Constitution Hill’s exceptional abilities, Fry asserts that being in the race is the first step towards victory.
Boothill Ready to Step Up
In addition to Love Envoi’s participation, Fry also plans to field Boothill in Saturday’s Betfair Tingle Creek Chase. The eight-year-old gelding has shown promise this season with two consecutive wins at Ascot. Originally intending to wait for the Clarence House in January, Fry now considers it opportune to elevate Boothill into higher class races earlier than planned.
Fry explains: “With cancellations due to bad weather and uncertainty surrounding future events, we decided not to hold back.” Delighted with Boothill’s current form and condition following his recent victory at Hurst Park, Fry contemplates giving him a chance at Sandown instead of waiting for later opportunities.
A final decision regarding Boothill’s participation will be made on Thursday morning. However, Fry indicates that chances are high for them taking part in the Grade One feature race: “At the moment, it’s probably more likely than not that we’ll let him take his chance.”