Joe Tizzard: “The Dutchman has a real chance in the 2018 Grand National.”
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If you forget his last run when he burst, and he was all wrong when he came back, then he must have a real chance in the Grand National.
He was a really impressive winner of the Peter Marsh. He jumped really well.
When he came to us last season he was a King’s Theatre chaser rated 137 and we were really excited about him, and he hasn’t done a lot wrong.
He has had nearly eight weeks since his last run. This has always been the plan.
He’s absolutely 100% and he schooled over the Grand National fences at David Pipe’s last week. He jumped them beautifully.
If he can get into a nice rhythm then he can go really well. He will love the soft ground. It is very difficult to be too bullish about the Grand National as you need a lot of luck.
The horse needs to take to it, the horse needs luck in running and there are 40 runners. But our horse ticks an awful lot of boxes.
The trip won’t be a problem, nor will the ground, he gets a nice racing weight. God knows what it will be like if we have a horse jumping the last in contention.
My Grand National rides
In terms of my riding experience of the Grand National, I can sum it up in one word. Pain.
I rode in thirteen Grand Nationals. I was 5th, 10th, 13th, pulled a couple up and fell on several. I fell on the first on the favourite, Double Thriller. I fell on the 4th a couple of times.
My biggest regret was when I rode Knowhere for Nigel Twiston-Davies in 2008. I fell off him the fence after Valentines. It really haunts me as he was going so well.
He didn’t fall. He hit the fence and put down, and when he came up, a horse called King Johns Castle kicked me from behind ridden by Paul Carberry, and I came off.
He would have gone close. I was gutted and it does haunt me.
Grand National memories
My earliest memory of the Grand National was West Tip winning. We always used to have our local Point to Point on that day and it was over at King’s Weston.
We used to get in the back of a lorry and watch it on a little TV set. I was a big fan of Richard Dunwoody so I was cheering him on. That is probably my earliest memory.
My first Grand National was the bomb-scare in 1997. I was seventeen years old. I came back in Paul Nicholls’ lorry, rode two winners at the local Point to Point on the Sunday and went back up on the Monday and rode in the re-arranged race.
It was a horse called Straight Talk, who I’d ridden twice. I hadn’t had enough winners to ride in the National, but I’d had plenty of experience, so Paul Nicholls managed to spin it.
I was the second-youngest to ride in the race at the time. I’ll never forget it.
My Grandfather on my Mum’s side owned Loving Words who was second to Grittar, after unseating and remounting, in 1981.
The story behind that is the fact it took the jockey just 17 seconds to get back on after coming off.
He jinked at a loose horse and the jockey came off, but he kept hold of the reins, and managed to get back on in 17 seconds and he was beaten 16 seconds.
I’m very excited about him. He was disappointing at Haydock, when he wasn’t right, and we went to Cheltenham and ran really well.
He was hampered two out which cost him a lot of momentum. He got hampered by the winner so I wouldn’t say it cost him the race but he might have been placed.
But he looked like he was crying out for two and a half miles.
He was just always flat out. He is in great shape and hasn’t missed a beat since Cheltenham. It’s a competitive race but I’m expecting a big run.
He’s a horse we will go novice chasing with next year and will be even better over the bigger obstacles.
He’s been a bit disappointing in all fairness this season. He travelled well but stopped a bit quickly at Cheltenham.
He can be a bit like that. He was second to Sizing Granite at Punchestown and since then all he’s done is drop down the handicap.
He’s got a chance but you wouldn’t go in there with masses of confidence.
He is a consistent little horse but he just lacks a bit of size.
If he was a hand bigger he could be quite a good horse. But he is consistent and he is going to have a summer campaign. He is rated high enough to get in this so he’s taking his chance.