Joe Tizzard looking forward to parading Cue Card at Sandown
3.35 Sandown – Theatre Guide and Royal Vacation
Theatre Guide has been placed in the race before and he’s been placed in a couple of Ladbrokes Trophy’s (when run as The Hennessy). He’s not getting any younger and he is what he is but I think he’s going to love the better ground. As he’s got older, his wind has just got gradually worse so the good ground will help him. He hasn’t had as hard a season as some of the others so I think he has a chance. I hope he’ll forget his fall at Ascot. He’s been schooled four times and jumped well. He’s the type of horse that always takes a couple of fences to warm up and it’s important that he warms to it quickly as the second fence is the first of the line of seven down the back straight.
It hasn’t really happened for Royal Vacation this year. Last year he was a very progressive novice and managed to win a competitive handicap at Cheltenham and a Feltham on Boxing Day. We then quite fancied him to run a big race in the RSA. It just hasn’t happened for him since then, but saying that he’s dropped to a very reasonable handicap mark. He might go and run a massive race, but at the moment he’s just been struggling a bit
4.40 Sandown – Silverhow
Silverhow has been very consistent all season but this is the toughest race he’s run in. This is his last race as a novice so we’ve decided to run. He’s managed to win a novice handicap and been placed in a few so he’s earned the right to run in this. He’s got a nice racing weight but he might have been caught up by the handicapper. This is a lovely day out for the owners, a reward for the horse’s consistency and then next year he will hopefully improve a bit naturally.
Cue Card Parades at Sandown
We are really looking forward to parading Cue Card. He deserves to have a big send off. There have been some lovely tributes and films on Cue Card in the last couple of weeks. We are going to miss Cue Card. We’ve loved running him for the last eight years but is time has come to retire and he is going to get a brilliant send off at Sandown Park. He’s going to enjoy every second of it as he knows he’s a good horse.
Cue Card winning the Champion Bumper was probably the most special memory. That was a wow moment, a shock. To go and do what he did in that field was a massive performance. It had been eleven years since my first Cheltenham Festival winner so it was a big moment for me, and it was my Dad’s first Festival winner.
Then the Ryanair was my other favourite memory. I loved riding hi in that. He wasn’t that straightforward at that stage as it was only the first year after his novice chasing season. I just sat as still as I could on him, and then after we jumped the three across the middle at Cheltenham he just pricked his ears and I felt him come back to me. I was always just saving in front. I dictated the whole race, and at the top of the hill I just quickened the pace, and put the opposition at it. He was brilliant that day.
When I watched him battle back in the King George that was a big moment too. There were people that doubted his head carriage and whether he quite went through with it at the finish, but there was no doubt on that day. He was two lengths down at the last and stuck his head down and reeled in Vautour and got there on the line. We were very proud of him that day.
We’ve got the rest of his life to enjoy him. He’s going to stay with us in the yard. Between the whole family we’ll use him as a hack, we’ll go hunting, and we’ll have a lot of fun with him. He would be wasted being chucked in a field. I can see myself or Dad getting him tacked up and riding up the gallop first lot for one canter and then standing at the top watching the horses go up again. He will love it. He’s an old racehorse but he’s still a young horse.
Look back at the 2017/2018 Season
It’s been a cracking season. Numerically this is the most winners we have ever had, with seventy seven on the board going into the last day. We haven’t had the nine Grade 1s that we won last season, but we won the Cheltenham Gold Cup and I’m not sure we wouldn’t have swapped those nine Grade 1s to win a Gold Cup.
It’s been a great year, no question about it. We have won just shy of £2 million in prize money and it would be lovely if we could win enough today to nudge us over the £2 million mark. When you add in the Irish prize money we won this week we are probably over the £2 million mark.
We were the only English yard over there at Punchestown having a crack at the Willie Mullins and we came very close to winning another Grade 1 with Vision Des Flos and Kilbricken Storm running so well and Finian’s Oscar so very unlucky.
We have a terrific bunch of young horses to look forward to next season. It wasn’t a case of relying on Thistlecrack of Cue Card this year. Native River is only an eight year old and it was all the young ones that were waving the flag for us, the likes of Kilbricken Storm, Lostintranslation, Vision Des Flos, Elegant Escape, etc.
Believe you me, next season will come round very quickly. The Sales start at the end of May, and take place over about three weeks with the first one at Doncaster, and then we head over to Ireland. We will probably also head over to France this year.
We will be extending the barns again to make room for more horses. There’s always room for new owners who want to come and be part of a great fun team and a successful team.
We will have around twenty horses to run through the summer especially through May. Then we will get the early horses back in so that they are ready for mid-September. So there won’t be much downtime that’s for sure.
Battle of Ideas – Coral Champions Club Horse
Battle of Ideas has had a good season. He won his race at Plumpton nicely, then had a below par run but since then has run some really nice races and they are something to build on next season. He’ll have a holiday now and then come back in and be readied for a novice chasing campaign. We might school him over fences next week before we turn him out for his summer holiday. We are really looking forward to seeing him run over fences next season.