Joe Tizzard: “Cue Card has a huge chance on the bare form”
The ground has been hard work. The jockeys were saying it was even more hard work yesterday than on Tuesday. It’s proper National Hunt ground and it only happens once in twenty years now at Cheltenham, and it’s much better than contending with fast ground and watering.
For all the focus on the ground I don’t think anything out of the ordinary has won, in fact most of the right horses have won the big races and that shows that the ground is fine.
Our horses have been running well, but we knew that the last two days were where we had our best chances.
JLT Novices Chase – Finian’s Oscar and West Approach
I think Finian’s Oscar is being under-rated in this contest. He had some good form in the autumn and then he was wrong.
He’s had a little wind op and he will have the cheekpieces on and I think he’s going to run a huge race. He’s the forgotten horse. He has masses of potential.
West Approach has the ability, there are no two ways about it. He’s been wearing blinkers at home.
He’s a horse that has won one maiden hurdle around Newton Abbot and yet he’s rated higher than most of our horses so you can’t rule him out. It could happen.
He won an ordinary race at Ffos Las and an ordinary contest at Exeter, but if he tries and it happens for him today, then he has an outside chance. He will handle the ground for sure.
Ryanair Chase – Cue Card
I don’t want to hype Cue Card up too much but he walked into the yard this morning like a four year old. He is in great form.
He is every bit as good, if not better, than he was before Ascot and that form would be good enough to give him a huge chance. I’m nervous to really fancy him but I do think he ticks all the boxes.
Un De Sceaux has to get home on the ground and the rest just aren’t good enough to beat Cue Card on his Ascot form. If he wins today it will be unbelievable, but even if he finishes in the frame, he will get an amazing reception. He’s a brilliant horse and we were really moved at Ascot with the way the crowd cheered and applauded him for finishing second that day.
Make no mistake he is in brilliant form and I am really looking forward to seeing him run. He has a huge chance on the bare form.
He has won the race before, and I think we have made the right decision to run here instead of the Gold Cup.
Brown Advisory Handicap Chase – Viconte Du Noyer, Quite By Chance, Shanahans Turn, Ultragold
Quite By Chance has had a little wind op, and is an excellent little horse over this trip.
Ultragold is probably best over the big National fences and will end up in the Topham again, but he’s competitive.
Shanahan’s Turn is a sneaky one. He’s won a Galway Plate two years ago. We’ve only been able to run him once. I’d love to tell you what we know about him but we don’t know that much. However he could be well handicapped.
Viconte Du Noyer has won around Cheltenham, will love the ground, and it’s the ideal trip for him.
Our best chance is probably Viconte Du Noyer, but it’s a competitive handicap so we are hopeful rather than expecting anything.