Joe Tizzard on his stable’s Day Three runners
Joe talks us through all of his stable’s runners on Day Three of the Festival…
Our opening mount tomorrow is Alary in the Ryanair Chase. We are in a bit of a situation as to what we can do with him to be honest. We hyped him up before his first run in the UK where he was disappointing but he wasn’t quite right. He has shown signs of being back to his best again at home after what was a crashing fall. He was ok the next day and once he schooled again he jumped his first fence much bigger which is something you want him to do. He is now rated 162 so we did not have too many options available to us as where to go with him. There are not many runners in the Ryanair. The French style of racing is that they got so much slower so maybe he does not need to go 3m+. This will definitely be a learning curve as he will get used to the British style of racing, especially at a big meeting like Cheltenham. He is still a horse who has a lot of ability for next season. This looks one of the most open races of the week. Un De Sceaux probably wants softer ground. We’ll take our chance and learn more about him.
West Approach runs in the Stayers’ Hurdle. It was the owner’s decision ultimately but we could not come up with an argument against it. It is a big ask for a novice but he definitely has an each-way chance. If he gets beat by half a length we will probably think we have missed a Cheltenham opportunity. The connections are not afraid of having a go in the big races and they have been proven right in the past with Thistlecrack. He’s a lovely young horse and I am sure he will run a big race.
Sizing Codelco lines up in the Plate and has a big chance. His form at Ascot is strong. He was disappointing before that run but we put the blinkers on and that sharpened him up. We are at the right side of the weights. He is one of our biggest chances of the week.
On Demand runs for us in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle. She turned up to us rated 83 and she now has a mark of 124. She has won two races and has been placed around here. On all ratings she has a lot to do. It is the owner’s first horse and it was their dream to have a Cheltenham Festival runner and she has got in the race. She is a front runner and hopefully she shows a good account of herself.
Looking further ahead this week, we have declared Native River and Cue Card in the Gold Cup. They will have one more exercise before then and then they are there. We have seen already so far this week how tough the Festival is. They are in great form and they deserve to be at the head of the market. We are really looking forward to it. The Gold Cup is the ultimate race. I would much rather win a Gold Cup than a Grand National. It is just how I have been brought up. We are lucky to go there with two very good horses. We obviously lost Thistlecrack but these two have great chances.