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We experienced mixed fortunes on Saturday 3 December at Sandown where Love Envoi excelled by beating the boys on her handicap debut but Revels Hill was always on the back foot in the London National after being badly hampered by a faller.

In addition Boothill was far from disgraced in finishing second to Jonbon in the Grade 1 Henry V111 Chase and Whitehotchillifili did well to be third under top weight in a Mares’ Challenger qualifier.

On her seasonal debut off a mark of 139 Love Envoi raced into the lead on the home turn in the valuable Betfair Rewards Handicap Hurdle and kept on in determined fashion to hold the late challenge of Playful Saint by three quarters of a length.

It was a taking performance by our mare although Johnny Burke wasn’t sure at times that she was travelling as well as he would have liked. But once again she showed her toughness of spirit by digging deep on the demanding uphill finish at Sandown to the delight of her owners who are members of the Noel Fehily racing syndicate.

Love Envoi could run next in a Listed Mares’ Hurdle at Sandown in a month’s time, then take in a race at Warwick before returning to Cheltenham in March.

Boothill tracked Jonbon throughout in the Henry V111 Chase, jumping with elan but couldn’t quite lay down a serious challenge to the odds on favourite in the closing stages. He didn’t have too hard a race and will probably still go to Kempton on December 27 for the Wayward Lad Chase.

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