Joe Tizzard previews his Day Two runners
Joe takes us through his stable’s chances on the second day of the Festival…
We run Royal Vacation in the RSA Chase to kick us off on day two of the Festival and he is a horse we really like. He’s been progressive throughout his career over hurdles and since he has gone chasing. He was lucky at Kempton when Might Bite fell at the last but the aim of the game is jumping. He was impressive here in a handicap on his last start. He is entitled to run in this race. He saves a bit at the back end of his races and every time Paddy asks for a bit more, he delivers. I think he has an excellent each-way chance here. Kempton and Cheltenham are two very different tracks. Kempton is flat and if you can get into a rhythm and very handy around there you can quite easily steal a length on horses and that is what Might Bite did on Boxing Day. The rest of the pack was under pressure to close him in. Around Cheltenham the track stops you from getting into that rhythm. The fact we have come here and won is a big positive. He is straightforward to ride. This horse will be aimed for the Welsh Grand National next season and is a Grand National horse of the future.
In the Coral Cup we run Morello Royale. She ran a blinder at Newbury last month. We had her entered in the mares’ race too but we prefer this handicap. It is a slight concern that a lot of her best form is on flat tracks. She has earned her right to be here and it is wide open. She can handle the big field. She is a mare but we can turn her out with 20 other geldings in the summer and she is tough enough for that. You do need a bit of luck in running here. There may be eight horses up alongside each other approaching the last. Unless you have shown a fair amount you don’t get in these races any more.
We have two in the Queen Mother Champion Chase. Fox Norton has sharpened up for his run at Newbury. He loves it around here. If the Douvan we know turns up then he is going to be very hard to beat, we know that. If you take Douvan out of the race it would be absolutely wide open. I’d like to think Fox Norton could run a huge race. If anything happens to Douvan we’ll be there to pick up the pieces. As for Sizing Granite, if you had told me back in the Autumn that he was a Grade One winner, I would not believe you. He is just coming right at home and looks lovely in his coat. He might be more of an Aintree horse but he needs to run and with his mark where else can you go. He’s already proved he can win in Grade One company.
In the Cross Country we are running Third Intention. He finished fourth in this race last year. He is a great jumper. He gives his owner some lovely days out. He will go for the Topham after this. The more it dries, the better for him because he struggles to get up the hill. If he gets in the frame it will be great but his main aim will be Aintree next month.