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About Joe:

Former Jump jockey Joe Tizzard enjoyed a stellar career in the saddle, with his record 91 wins to claim the 1998-99 champion conditional title gaining him prominence. Tizzard’s first Cheltenham Festival successes came during that period, including an Arkle win onboard the Paul Nicholls trained Flagship Uberalles. However, it was his Grade 1 victories in partnership with Cue Card, trained by dad Colin, which really catapulted Joe into the big time. Now assistant trainer to his father the Tizzards’ Dorset yard is home to some of the most exciting horses in training, including Cue Card, Thistlecrack and Native River. You can read Joe’s thoughts and get exclusive insight at news.coral.co.uk throughout the 2017-18 season

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Joe Tizzard: “Thistlecrack hasn’t lost an ounce of his ability.”

Coral get the lowdown from the Tizzard stables

3.00 Newbury – Ladbrokes Long Distance Hurdle – Thistlecrack

Thistlecrack is in lovely form. It was only ever a minor injury and he’s been back in since the beginning of August so we’ve been able to do everything very slowly with him.

We ramped his work up about three weeks ago, going from standard fitness work to really getting stuck into him, and he had a really hard fortnight which he’s come through really well.

He had a canter around Wincanton just to get his blood up and that went really well.

He schooled on Wednesday under Tom Scudamore and he schooled beautifully.

It really woke him up and when he walked through the yard this morning, Dad and I looked at him then looked at each-other and we were both thinking the same thing; “He looks ready”.  

This is a stepping stone to the King George, don’t get me wrong, but if we wound back the clock eighteen months we’d be confident of beating Uknowhatimeanharry getting 6lbs, and I don’t think he’s lost an ounce of his ability.

I remember going into this same race two years ago hoping that we had something a bit special but we weren’t sure.

In fact I remember we’d missed a bit of work with him so I told Tom Scudamore that he would improve for the run, and he still bolted up.

So I think we have him even fitter than we did two years ago. Every box has been ticked. We haven’t missed a piece of work since he’s back in, he’s done everything we’ve asked of him.

Remember he hasn’t been off eighteen months, he ran at the end of January. He would have run in the Gold Cup and perhaps then that would have been it for the season, or he might have run at Aintree, so it’s not like he’s been off for ages.

There are no real excuses for him really, although clearly it is his first run of the season and it’s more about the King George and the Gold Cup rather than tomorrow.

I’m really excited to see him run. He’s our big gun, he’s our best chance of winning a Gold Cup, and he’s a 170 rated horse. We don’t feel any pressure having a horse as good as this.

This is what we do it for. We’re trying to find the next Thistlecrack all the time, and in all fairness we are going into most Saturdays with nice horses, and it’s sometimes more nerve-wracking talking the likes of Finian’s Oscar to a novice chase at Cheltenham than running Thistlecrack in a hurdle tomorrow.

I certainly won’t have a sleepless night worrying about how Thistlecrack is going to run, but I will wake up excited about it.

The most important day for Thistlecrack will be the two or three days after the race to see how he’s come out of it. We want this horse to take us to the Gold Cup.

12.20 Newbury – Losintranslation

He’s a lovely horse. He has put up two striking performances.

They’ve given him a mark of 125 and I think that’s lenient as I think he’s better than that. We decided to come here as this was the only day that the boys that own him could come racing before Christmas, so we hope to win this maiden hurdle, and then we’ll start setting our sights a bit higher.

He is a beautiful horse, a real powerful chap, and he will definitely jump fences and he will definitely stay further in time.

He’s on a par with Slate House and White Moon, he’s up there with our top novice hurdlers, we really like him.

Saturday

Ladbrokes Trophy – Royal Vacation

He always takes a run to get himself right and we’ve had this race in mind since last year.

He disappointed us in the RSA Chase and we’ve since treated his shins. He’s a Grade One winner going into this, even if a bit lucky, and he has a chance.

Theatre Guide was placed in the race on two occasions so I’m sure this boy can be placed, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him run a massive race.

Coneygree is the class horse in the race but his presence does us all a favour as it keeps our horse’s weight down to a nice looking 10st 10lbs.

Joe