Joe Tizzard: “Ainchea has some cracking form to his name already”
Former jockey discusses his stable’s weekend runners
We’ve not been shy in admitting we’ve had a quiet spell recently, with the horses not quite firing, but winners don’t half make you feel better, and it was great to have the treble at our local track on Thursday.
We’re confident that the majority of the horses have turned the corner at home now anyway, but it was just nice to prove it on the track.
We’d be lying if we said the focus on how the horses had been running didn’t get to us.
If it didn’t bother us we’d be doing the wrong things, but it’s something that happens most years, you just have to ride the storm, know you’re doing the right things and that you’ll come through it.
We had the quiet spell over Cheltenham last year, so in some respects it’s nice to get it out of the way in January and hopefully we can fire right through to the end of the season now.
Ainchea has got some cracking form to his name already, with two seconds at Cheltenham and a win at Sandown, and he looks a horse with a really bright future.
We want to get some more experience into him, the track suits him and this looks a really nice race for him.
He has a couple of Festival entries [Supreme and Ballymore], which he deserves on what he’s already achieved, and after this run he’ll be aimed straight at Cheltenham.
After a good third in the Kauto Star on Boxing day, West Approach runs in the Scilly Isles.
2 ½ miles is his trip over fences, we can ride him quite aggressively and he’s just getting the hang of it.
He won an easy race at Ffos Las but was then disappointing at Cheltenham, but his last two runs have been better and we need to get another run into him.
This looks ideal, it will be a good test for him, but he’s got lots of ability on his day.
We run Fourth Act in the big handicap hurdle. He won a little race at Fontwell last time, and he did it nicely.
We chucked him in the deep end over fences and I think he’s enjoyed being back over hurdles, he’s got a bit of confidence back, and hopefully he’s got an each-way chance in a hot looking race.
Our final runner here is Quite By Chance. We’ve given him a slight tweak of his wind, he’d got away with it on good ground, but as the going got softer it caught up with him.
He’s probably handicapped up to his best, but he’s very consistent.
At the stables
Looking further ahead, we’re looking forward to getting Native River and Cue Card back out on the track in the next couple of weeks.
Native River has been away for a couple of race course gallops, and he schooled brilliantly this week, so he’s bang on target for Newbury [The Denman Chase], although of course this is a prep for the Gold Cup, not the main event.
Dad’s been riding out a bit recently, and last weekend he had a sit on Cue Card! He rode him out alongside his grandson on his pony, which was a bit of fun.
I’ve also ridden him out recently, and he seems in really nice form with himself, so we’re really looking forward to running him at Ascot.
It’s the first Dublin racing festival this weekend, and although we’re not sending any runners over, we certainly looked at it.
It will probably take a couple of years for the British trainers to cotton on to it, from our point of view our horses just weren’t quite right when we were looking at the races, but certainly in the future, if we have the right horse, we’d travel over.
It just didn’t suit our plans this year, but if for example Thistlecrack had been around, we would have looked at sending Native River over, as we wouldn’t want to run them against each other at Newbury.
We have no issue with travelling horses to Ireland, we love going to Punchestown and have had some success there, so I’m sure it will take off, there’s going to be some brilliant racing without the British runners, and I’m looking forward to watching it.