Reserve Tank pleases Colin Tizzard with first victory over fences

Sat 9 Nov 2019

Reserve Tank opened his account over fences in the John Romans Park Homes “Rising Stars” Novices’ Chase at Wincanton.

Colin Tizzard has high hopes of the five-year-old reaching the very top given he won twice at the highest level over hurdles last season.

However, he was surprisingly beaten on his chasing debut at Chepstow recently when he met the last fence wrong and Jarveys Plate flew past him.

There was no hiding place in this Grade Two as Solomon Grey set a furious pace in front, jumping with accuracy and increasing his lead at most fences.

Reserve Tank travelled through the race alongside If You Say Run and by the third-last obstacle, the two market leaders cruised past Solomon Grey as his exertions told.

It was clear running down to the last that Robbie Power simply had to jump it safely on the 4-5 favourite, and while he did not exactly sprint clear on the run to the line, Reserve Tank was three and three-quarter lengths too good for If You Say Run.

Watch the contest in full as Reserve Tank strikes at Wincanton

“I’ll give him an eight (out of 10),” said Power.

“He hated the ground and he’s a horse we might not see a lot of through the winter when the ground is very heavy – all his best form was in the spring last year on good ground.

“He jumped adequately, he’d improved from Chepstow, he was much more relaxed today which was great and he didn’t do a stroke when he got to the front, he was very idle.

“He’s a very good horse. I just think he’s ground dependent at the moment. Maybe as he gets older he’ll handle it, but all his best form is on good ground.”

Watch Tom Stanley's post-race interview with Colin Tizzard

Tizzard added: “During the race I was wondering how well he was travelling as he’s always tended to be a bit keen, but that’s better to see him like that. He travelled easily and he was a different horse.

“Robbie makes it look easy. We’re glad to have him any time he wants to get on the plane, he’s really good for us.

“He’s been talked up all summer having won two Grade Ones, but sometimes you don’t know if those that won early in the year are over the top. This year he was beaten by a better horse at Chepstow, but today was a lovely performance.”

The trainer indicated that he would be keen to stay at two and a half miles for now with the winner, who was cut across the board by bookmakers for the JLT Chase and RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

"The RSA is a huge, hard race," he said. "We might look at three miles later on, but I'd like to think we'll stay at two and a half next time."

Misty Bloom (9-2) appeared to relish the rain that fell earlier in the afternoon when winning the Richard Barber Memorial Mares’ Handicap Hurdle.

Having moved through smoothly to challenge Aimee De Sivola, the only moment of worry for 5lb conditional jockey Ben Jones was when the mare met the last flight on a very long stride.

After surviving that, Emma Lavelle’s six-year-old kept up the gallop to score comfortably by six lengths.

Lavelle said: “She’s not over-big, so being at the bottom end of the handicap in a race like this was ideal.

“Ben gave her a super ride, he’s a proper jockey to look out for.”

Misty Bloom jumps the last well clear (Press Association)
Misty Bloom jumps the last well clear (Press Association)

There looked to be some nice youngsters in the Frome Scaffolding Group EBF Stallions “National Hunt” Novices’ Hurdle in which Alan King’s Edwardstone came out on top.

Sent off the 6-1 third choice in the betting, Tom Cannon moved him up onto the heels of the leaders coming out of the back straight.

At the time Nicholls’ Flic Ou Voyou appeared to be travelling slightly better than odds-on favourite Fiddlerontheroof, only to quickly fold under pressure.

Despite Robbie Power’s best urgings, Fiddlerontheroof, who was second in the Persian War last time out, could not match the pace of Edwardstone who won by three-quarters of a length.

The Philip Hobbs-trained Keep Moving (5-1) was a clear-cut winner of the Z Hotels Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Chase under Sean Houlihan.

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