Joe Tizzard on his stable’s Day Four runners
Joe talks us through all of his stable’s runners on Gold Cup Day…
Fox Norton ran a cracking race for us in the Queen Mother Champion Chase. We are thrilled to bits with him. Obviously though, we have come so close to winning. If you are a jockey or trainer and you enjoy being second, you are in the wrong game. We are out to win because nobody remembers the second. On another day he might have had a bit more luck and had won but we are really proud of him. He has come out of the race fine and has proved he has been a great horse to get hold of last Autumn and we are going to have a great amount of fun with him in the future. The Potts family have invested a lot of money into the sport and they are competitive people themselves, the same as us. It would have been an unbelievable double for them as they had the winner of the Coral Cup.
We are now really excited ahead of the Cheltenham Gold Cup tomorrow. I rode Native River out this morning with Cue Card. We just did a canter as that is all these horses do a day before their race. Both horses looked great and have been in fantastic form. We could not be happier with where they are. We are very confident they will both show their best and if they do that they both have a great chance. I don’t have any worries about the ground with either of them. Paddy has said Cue Card has got used to handling slower ground as he has got older. The extra two furlongs and the hill counteract that. I wouldn’t want to see it as a complete bog for him as he has never completed this trip before. That is still at the back of my mind. Native River is fine on this ground. He won on Good to Soft in the Hennessy Gold Cup and we wouldn’t have run him in the Coral Welsh Grand National if it had been too soft for him. We are more than happy for the ground with him.
In the first year after retiring from being a jockey, I missed riding here but I really enjoy being this side of the fence now. It is a hard week though, there are a lot of disappointments. I have not had much sleep this week and I am sure I won’t sleep tonight. There will be no instruction to Paddy or Dickie tomorrow. They both know the horses inside out. We will discuss it but it will be left to them.
In the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle Elegant Escape runs for us. He won nicely on his first start for us at Chepstow when looking very green. He then upped his game at Ascot before then finishing fourth in the Challow at Newbury. He possibly wasn’t 100% here at Cheltenham last time out. I will be delighted if he finishes in the first six but whatever happens he is a lovely horse for the future.
Grand Vision runs in the Foxhunters Chase. He has been third here in the Albert Bartlett and fourth in the National Hunt Chase. He has been a bit fragile but he has been here and proved it in some big races. We had a mad rush to get him qualified and I think he can run a big race. He jumps well and stays this trip. I would not rule him out getting in the frame.
We have four runners in the Grand Annual in this race sort of suits them all. Ultragold has earned his position here for his owners and a day out. The same can be said with Mick Thonic and Quite By Chance who probably needs this 2m trip. Sizing Platinum arguably has the best chance of our runners. He ran second here behind Fox Norton at the start of the season. We then ran him over 2m4f and he did not get the trip. At Ludlow he looked like then winner when he fell four out. He then cracked his nose and was pretty stiff so we saved him for this. He has course form and the form with Fox Norton looks strong now.