Westerner’s Love Envoi A Class Above In Listed Hurdle
Love Envoi (7m Westerner - Love Divided, by King’s Ride) made it two from two this season when running out an impressive winner of Saturday’s Listed Mares’ Hurdle at Sandown.
The Harry Fry-trained mare was unbeaten with a pair of Grade 2 wins to her name when finishing last season with a fine second in a Grade 1 at Punchestown. She beat the boys in a Class 2 hurdle on her seasonal return last month and was sent off a short-priced favourite to follow up in the two and a half mile contest under Jonathan Burke.
Held up at the back of the field in the early stages, she improved into second from halfway and asserted with ease after the third last. Nudged clear a flight later, she went on to score by 13 lengths from a strung-out field.
“She’s just a very good mare,” the winning rider said after the race. “Anything you put in front of her she seems to rise to. We're very lucky to have her.”
The impressive nature of Love Envoi’s latest victory saw her shorten in price for the Mares’ Hurdle at Cheltenham, on which Burke commented, “Marie's Rock (Milan) was very impressive. I'd be worried about her and it's going to be a tough race, but she definitely deserves a shot.”
Love Envoi is owned by the Noel Fehily Racing Syndicate and has been since winning on debut for Sean Doyle as a five-year-old. The daughter of Westerner is the best performer bred by Ciaran O’Toole out of Love Divided.