Joe Tizzard: “Native River loves it around Newbury.”
Former jockey discusses his stable’s runners this weekend
A big day for us begins with Rockpoint in the first at Newbury.
He’s got some decent bits of form to his name, he’s well related and he’s learning all the time and getting better with every run.
Nicky Henderson’s [Whatswrongwithyou] looks to set the standard, but this looks a good opportunity for ours, and I think he’s got a cracking each-way chance.
The track will suit, hopefully this very deep ground will soon be behind us, I think we’ve all had enough of it!
Native River has been back in with us for a long time now, and this race was always the plan ahead of the Gold Cup.
He’s been away for a couple of race course gallops, has schooled really well, is in great form, so he ticks all the boxes.
He is a horse that needs this first run every year, but he’s certainly fit enough to do himself justice and we can’t wait to see him running again.
He loves it around Newbury, winning this race last year when there were only three runners, as there will be this time.
The small field didn’t catch him out then, and hopefully won’t this time, although it would suit him to have an end to end gallop, we obviously don’t want to bottom him.
Ideally they’ll go a good gallop and he won’t end up having too hard a race.
Whatever happens here he’s going to be a fitter horse in the Gold Cup, but he’s ready to go and hopefully his class will tell here.
Looking at the Gold Cup, while it would be no surprise to see Sizing John bounce back, Native River wasn’t beaten far in last year’s race and he’s something of a forgotten horse this season in what looks a wide open Gold Cup.
We didn’t declare Fox Norton for the Game Spirit Chase as he wasn’t quite 100%, he had a small amount of pus in his foot.
He is entered in the Ascot Chase next weekend, to keep all options open, although he could also go straight to Cheltenham now.
Cue Card has schooled really well again this week, and I think he’s in as good a form as we’ve had him all season now, and he’s all set to run at Ascot next weekend.
Exeter 2.00 – Golden Sunrise & Mount Rushmoore
We run two nice young horses in the opener, Golden Sunrise and Mount Rushmoore. Golden Sunrise ran very green first time but he’s been knocking on the door since then, with some solid runs. Exeter suits him so we’re hoping for a big run from him.
We bought Mount Rushmoore at Cheltenham and he finished third in a decent looking bumper first time out for us.
He wants further to be honest but there wasn’t a race for him for a couple of weeks so we’ll try him here.
He’s a nice big horse from the Irish point to point field, and you wouldn’t want to be running him later on on quicker ground so we’ll try and give the owners some fun while we can.
Exeter 2.30 – Vision Des Flos
Vision Des Flos has just had his wind tweaked since his last run, and we thought we’ll try him in this decent race, see if he can hold his own in this class.
I don’t think we’ve seen the best of yet by any stretch, he could run well here and finish third, or he could win hard held and show us what we hope we’ve got, but we’re certainly not going to waste his novice status for the sake of a little race somewhere.
Exeter 3.35 – Gentleman Jon
Gentleman Jon ran a solid race at Newbury last time, he just wants the better ground, hopefully the rain will stay away and we’ll get away with it on this ground.
Now he’s a 10-y-o he can run in these veterans races, which should be a big help for him.
He’s still a competitive horse and these races should just make life a bit easier for him, and the final at Sandown next year would be a target for him, although we’d love it to be in October when the ground was quick!
Exeter 4.10 – Elegant Escape
Elegant Escape runs in a good race, we’re keen to get a run into him before the RSA Chase and this looks a nice opportunity at a track he acts well at.
It’s a competitive race but the timing before Cheltenham is right, and we’re excited about running him.
He has the two Festival entries, in the RSA and the four miler, but we’re all leaning towards the shorter race.
Exeter 5.10 – Burn Valley
Burn Valley ran very green on her debut, and the family are generally late developers, so she’ll get some more experience here.
The race has actually cut up a bit with not too many runners, but this is the next step for her and she’s very much one for the future.