Latest exclusive insight from the Tizzard stables
Battle of Ideas – Coral Champions Club
We are going to look for a race for him now as he’s in great form at home. He schooled really well this week.
He had a snotty nose after his last run, but that’s always because the cold is coming out of them and is leaving the body, so it’s amazing how quickly they then recover.
We’ll look for a race over two and half miles, as there’s no need to bottom him out over any further than that.
Cheltenham Festival Update
We are aiming Kilbricken Storm at the Stayers’ Hurdle. He had a fractured pelvis, and he wasn’t quite right, but he’s back in full work now. We’ve just about got time to get him back to the Festival. So we are sticking him back in full work.
If anything happens and he takes a lame stride then we’ll have to stop with him. So at the moment he is good and well. We won’t have a chance to run him beforehand but we have time to get him there as we only missed a month.
Elegant Escape has come out of the Welsh National really well. We have every intention of taking him to the Cotswold Chase which will be his next step towards the Gold Cup.
I saw Paul Nicholls talking about running Frodon in the race so he won’t be facing the likes of Clan Des Obeaux or Native River in the race.
He ran the day after Boxing Day and the Gold Cup isn’t until the middle of March so if he runs again, he will still have six weeks then to prepare for the Cheltenham Festival. It’s another step forward and it will be a race he’s well capable of winning.
Native River has finished third and first in the Gold Cup and on both occasions he won the Denman Chase on the way, so he will probably run in the Denman Chase again.
We like to run our horses. We can’t run them every fortnight. But if they are fit and well we like to get them on the track.
1.30 Haydock – Slate House
This is a nice little race for him. I am not convinced 2m4f is his trip but it is hard to find a 2m chase for him.
We want to run him as much as possible to get some experience in him. We will probably then get another run into him before Cheltenham.
He is very similar to Fox Norton in that he has been off for a while. We will find out over the next few weeks if he is an Arkle horse or a JLT horse, or maybe even a Handicap horse for Cheltenham.
He’s a good horse and had some cracking form last season.
2.15 Taunton – Kings Lad and Mick Thonic
Kings Lad had a brilliant summer and wants good ground so he will get a spin while the ground is ok for him. Mick Thonic doesn’t win very often but we want to keep him on the ball.
2.40 Haydock – Pingshou
He hasn’t really shone particularly well over fences, albeit in two very good races, but that is his league.
We have therefore decided to go back down the Champion Hurdle route. This race looks as good a chance as he’s going to get. He is fit and well at home and hopefully he can go well here.
2.50 Taunton – Royal Vacation
He is off a lovely mark this horse and is in real good shape. He will love the ground. I think he is our best chance of a winner this weekend.
3.00 Ascot – Quite By Chance
He has been off since September so he will be having a strong spring campaign. He does run well fresh and particularly well around Ascot.
We hope we’ve done enough with him at home and he’s ready for his first run. The handicapper is starting to give him a bit of a chance. He will love the ground but whatever happens he will come on from the outing.
3.15 Haydock – Robinsfirth
He was meant to run the other day but the ground was too quick. He needs Soft in the title somewhere.
We are looking forward to racing him as he is a good horse on his day. The trip and track should suit so as long as he isn’t rusty, he should run a huge race.
3.25 Taunton – Ruffling Feathers
Only the six runners because people think the ground is too quick but this horse is by Presenting and will not mind good ground.
He is a young horse who is still learning his job. He will get a mark after this so we will know where we are at with him then.
3.35 Ascot – Fox Norton
We were happy that the ground has come good for Fox Norton. Altior is going to take some beating.
Our horse has been off since Boxing Day 2017 so we are hoping to get at least two runs in him before Cheltenham just to make sure he is right for the meeting. He will probably also run in the Game Spirit after this outing.
He is a horse we have done plenty with at home. He has stacks of ability but we need to run him. We also have to consider what is the best trip for him.
If we feel as though he has no chance of beating Altior, we may go for the Ryanair. It couldn’t be a better start for him as there are just three runners.
He’s never in an easy race but this couldn’t be any better as it won’t be a race that will bottom him, and will be an ideal stepping stone.
3.45 Haydock – New To This Town
He is a bit in an out and takes a bit of waking up. He ran well at the end last time out at Uttoxeter.
He’s on a sensible enough mark, but it depends which side of the bed he gets out of really. If he put his right foot forward, he has plenty of ability.
3.55 Taunton – Kings Walk
He is a good horse on his day. He has yet to have success this season but looks a good race for him.
4.05 Ascot – Russian Hawk
He won nicely first time out at Exeter on his first start of the campaign. When he came back he was a bit sore so he had a few weeks off.
He is going well at home and this is his next step. He will love the track and Robbie has won on him before. He is certainly one of our nicest novice hurdlers.
Whether he is mentally mature enough for the Festival we will find out here.
Sunday – Exeter
1.10 – Copperhead
He is off a fair mark and the track will suit him. Hopefully his stamina will kick in and he would then be in with a big chance.
1.45 – Lough Derg Diamond
He’s still learning his trade in novice hurdles and is a horse for next season over fences really.
We’ll learn more about tomorrow but anything he does over hurdles will be a bonus.
3.25 – Golden Sunrise
He stayed on really well last time, but we thought we’d go back to a novice chase. He is finally getting the hang of it.
4.00 – Tikkapick
It is a moderate race which is competitive. He didn’t jump well enough at Chepstow. We have put the blinkers on to help him concentrate.