By Graham Clark
Joe Tizzard enjoyed plenty of big-race victories during a successful riding career and now hopes to replicate those glory days as a trainer in his first season with a licence.
Tizzard took over the reins from his father Colin at Venn Farm Stables at the end of April and, since saddling Slate House - a particular favourite of his late sister Kim Gingell - to victory at Kempton Park back in May the now retired Cheltenham Festival-winning rider has gone on to enjoy a successful summer which has yielded a total of 19 winners.
With all the star names that featured for his dad Colin in his final campaign as a trainer returning for more, Tizzard believes that together with an exciting crop of youngsters he can continue the good ground work he has laid down through the course of the season.
“He is my highest-rated horse at 162. We will probably start him off in the Charlie Hall but he will have a Betfair Chase entry as well and that often only has four or five runners in it and he will have a King George entry.
“He needs to improve again but I think he can. He improved a stone on official ratings last season and there is no reason why he won’t again. I think he wants an easy three miles.
“The first plan last season was the Haldon Gold Cup, and though some questioned how strong the Denman was I wasn’t complaining. He then went to the Ryanair at Cheltenham (finishing third) but was over the top by the time we went to Aintree.
“I want to pick and choose to get it right and he needs to tell me he is good enough to run in a King George for me to save him for one.”
“He had a good season. Although he only won the Colin Parker, he was only beaten half a length in a Ladbrokes Trophy and finished fifth in a Grand National.
“I might run him in a Pertemps qualifier first then have another tilt at the Ladbrokes Trophy with the Grand National in the back of our minds.
“If he wasn’t competitive in the Ladbrokes Trophy he would go down a few pounds for the Grand National, but if he wins that you have bagged a monster on the way.
“He has run really well in a Grand National and there is no reason why he won’t again. The boys like the Grand National and they are keen on going back.”
“The veterans’ chases are the most interesting thing for him now as he has dropped to 150 which means he sneaks in there.
“We have the veterans’ chase qualifier pencilled in at Chepstow for him in October first up. He loved the Aintree fences he just didn’t get home in the Grand National.
“The Grand Sefton and Becher Chase are different days now and the plan is to go to Chepstow then up to Aintree for the Grand Sefton a month later back over the big fences.
“We will give ourselves the option of the Sandown veterans’ final and then the Topham at Aintree at the end of the year would be a target.
“In the Grade Two at Ascot last season we got a lot pleasure from that as we had been struggling a bit with him. I think there is still another nice prize left in him.”
“He didn’t do anything wrong last season. He won three races and finished second in the Henry VIII at Sandown Park and the Manifesto at Aintree, along with finishing fourth in an Arkle.
“He is 149 and we are going to take him to the Haldon Gold Cup where two and a quarter miles around Exeter will be right up his street.
“He could have a similar route to Eldorado Allen at the start of the season. If he won a Haldon Gold Cup, we could look at a Tingle Creek or a Peterborough Chase. He should be competitive in a race like the Haldon Gold Cup.”
“He only won once over fences last season at Exeter but he finished third in a Grade One at the end of last season.
“He has always been a decent horse and he ran well in some decent races over hurdles. Although he is a bit erratic and runs in a hood he is a good horse.
“Sax Purdie (owner-breeder) has never bred a horse like this. It is on the back of my mind that he could run in a Haldon Gold Cup as well as Sax is from down that way.”
“He wasn’t really seeing out his races last season. We were delighted with his run in the Ultima but he still didn’t quite see that out as it looked like he was going to hose up at two out.
“We’ve done a wind operation on him as we found he had a trapped epiglottis and perhaps that is why he wasn’t finishing his races.
“He has still has novice options which hopefully gives him an easy starting place but also he proved he can handle a competitive handicap in the Ultima. He is off 139 and I wouldn’t mind exploiting that in a good race.”
“He was struggling with his shins last season but we have hopefully sorted that now. I will leave him for something like the Welsh Grand National as I think the pace of that would help him.
“I want to run him in a race where he has time on his hands and he can creep his way through.
“I think he is more genuine than he looks and I’ve not given up on him. I think he could well be a Grand National horse. It would scare the life out of the boys but it is on the back of my mind and I think I could talk them into making an entry.”
“I’m really excited about him. He looked brilliant in his first couple of runs. I think he is better than his Betfair Hurdle run and Supreme run.
“We will go novice chasing with him now. I think we will start him over two miles but he will get two and a half. He could have a similar campaign to what we did with War Lord last season.
“We will just get him jumping fences at home then when the ground is right pick a nice little novice chase. I do think he is better than 130."
"He has progressed with every run. He ran in his bumper and never looked like he had been for a gallop then flew through the line.
“Every time he ran in a hurdle race he got better and better then he won at Wincanton.
“He is a likeable horse and keeps catching my eye. He has grown into a chaser and he will be competitive off 123.”
“I’ve got something like the Paddy Power in the back of my mind for him as he is a good staying two and a half miler.
“We will give him a run first then decide whether we go for the Paddy Power or to Newbury later the same month.
“A hard run two and half wouldn’t be a problem as he is a good traveller in a race. He was a bit slow to get going last season but he is a decent horse.
“He needs to improve again but he could be well enough handicapped for a Paddy Power.”
“He is a big old fashioned type that has been growing for two years but we have always held him in high regard and he proved at the end of the year he is getting the hang of it.
“Whether we go straight novice chasing, or run him in a hurdle just to help him a little bit I’m not sure. He will be winning plenty over fences in time.”
With 31 unraced horses and a host of bumper horses set to embark on a hurdles campaign Tizzard has plenty of young firepower at his dispersal, of which he has selected five names he expects to excel over the coming months.
“Off To A Flyer disappointed in his bumper but he won his Irish point-to-point and good money was paid for him.
“A horse we didn’t run, as he had a slight setback, was Wetakecareofourown, but he was showing us serious stuff. He is a big horse that will go straight novice hurdling.
“We picked up a lovely horse called Classic Anthem at the Aintree sale that won his only point-to-point.
“There are couple of nice fillies among them as well in Ilovethenightlife and Shelikesthelights that have both run well in bumpers and will run in mares’ novice hurdles.”Racing TV is THE place to watch all the best racing live from both Britain and Ireland and you can try it for yourself for FREE with a 31 day trial!
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