Joe Tizzard: Vision Des Flos is a leading contender
The latest insight from the Tizzard stables
Battle of Ideas
Battle of Ideas was supposed to run at Taunton on Thursday, but we just weren’t quite happy with him and he had a bit of a dirty nose. I’m glad we didn’t run him as he would probably have disappointed and we’d have wasted a few weeks. When they have a dirty nose it’s normally coming out of them, so we’ll be looking for a race early in the New Year for him. It was a very hot little race in the end. There will be plenty of options for him
He was impressive at Exeter last time out. Robbie got off him and was really excited about him. He has certainly progressed over fences. This is another step up but he will gain a load of experience running at Cheltenham and he is a very good jumper. He needs to improve again but I think he has. He won’t mind the good ground. He won around Taunton last year and is a light-framed horse so will probably prefer it.
Rockpoint ran a lovely race in a handicap at Newbury last time. He will probably need to find a bit again but this trip will bring out the best in him. It was an improved run at Newbury last time and I think the trip is the making of the horse.
Lough Derg Diamond ran a lot better last time. We are throwing him in the deep end here. His owner lives locally and can enjoy a lovely day out at Cheltenham, and his horse will then get a handicap mark off the back of this run as well.
We were going to switch him back to fences but we then saw that the International Hurdle was cutting up, as it has, so we decided that he could take his chance. We can still go back chasing in the New Year. It’s a very valuable race and a very open race and we couldn’t resist the temptation. The New One is a good solid older horse, and always runs well in this race, but his connections are saying it’s very much “last chance saloon”. It’s an open race but Vision Des Flos is a leading contender. It’s certainly no Fighting Fifth hurdle so we’ll take our chance and see where we are.
Thistlecrack, Native River and Elegant Escape
Both horses are fine. We are moving the schooling fences today, so that we can school them next week on some fresh ground, ahead of the King George.
Elegant Escape is on target for the Coral Welsh Grand National and will be our only runner in the race. He’s been raised 4lbs.