Joe Tizzard: “I have a feeling that Fox Norton is going to run a massive race”
Latest insight from the Tizzard stables
Grand National Weights
We have a nice team entered for the Grand National and we should have two definites, with Ultragold and Royal Vacation firmly on target. Ultragold has a nice weight on 10-3 and only has ten to drop out so will get in the race. We’ve had the Grand National in mind for Royal Vacation for some time and his owner Jean Bishop is keen to go. He’s a Grade 1 winner with 10-8 on his back, and if he got into a rhythm around Aintree I could see him running a nice race.
We are running out of time a little bit with The Dutchman and it’s a brave shout to go for the National first time up. We might get a run into him and then go for the Coral Scottish Grand National. Sizing Codelco is horribly handicapped. He had two brilliant runs in the spring of 2017 but he’s struggled a bit since.
It’s all about the Gold Cup for Elegant Escape. He as the National entry and we’ll stay open-minded about it but no decision will be made until after the Gold Cup.
Russian Hawk is a very nice young horse and he’s progressive so we are putting him in a decent race. This will tell us if he’s good enough to go to Cheltenham, and if he’s not, and he’s rated 132, he can go for the EBF final at Sandown. I think he’s a serious horse and could be top class over fences next season so he shouldn’t be underestimated in this race.
Mister Malarkey is proving a very progressive horse over fences this season. He won really well last time out at Newbury. He’s a solid 140 horse that could just be getting the hang of fences, and he wouldn’t need to improve massively to go close in this. He likes this trip and he jumps for fun.
He’ll be Cheltenham bound after this, and this run will tell us which direction to go in. He’s entered in three races at the moment, the RSA, the 4 Miler, and he’ll also get an entry in the two and a half mile novice handicap chase which is a 0-145.
He has progressed and improved all through his career so far, but he hasn’t surprised Dad or I. We’ve always thought a lot of him. He’s just been a baby finding his feet, and now he’s a good horse. He’s a 140 rated horse and he’s only six years old.
This is a hot race but we need to get another run into him. I personally think he’s crying out for two and a half miles now. I’m leaning towards running him in the Ryanair rather than the Champion Chase.
We ran him in the King George because we thought he would get three miles at Kempton, and arguably his best form was when he won over two and a half miles at Aintree and he certainly wasn’t stopping that day. He’s had a run and he’s in a good nick.
He’s one of our better horses and we are looking forward to running him. I have a sneaky feeling he’s going to run a massive race.
Darlac won well at Fontwell and we then threw him in the deep end and he’s found a couple too good in those Grade 2s.
We hadn’t thought about going down the handicap route, but then he tweaked a few muscles, and now we want to run him and we’ve decided to get him qualified for the Pertemps at the same time. He stays well and has been crying out for some good ground. He’s run well on the last couple of starts but both were on ground that he doesn’t really enjoy.
We’ve been running Shoal Bay over two miles and Harry Cobden is adamant he wants further. So we are trying him over this longer trip, and as it’s also a qualifier, if he runs well then he could be well handicapped. On his best form last year he was quite exciting.
Robinsfirth is a very good horse but fragile. He proved that the other day by running a blinder at Haydock off the back of a long layoff. The trip and track suit him, and the ground will be lovely for him. He will take all the beating and deserves to be second favourite.
I’m surprised Royal Vacation isn’t a shorter price to be honest. He beat some decent horses last time. I know this Grand National trial doesn’t bode that well in terms of Grand National winners, this is the right race for Royal Vacation and he can then go straight to Aintree.
Rockpoint has a penalty for winning the Grade 2 at Cheltenham, but he’s the second highest rated horse in the race. He is a good horse and the 2m5f probably didn’t suit him at Warwick last time. He stays well and we will aim for the Albert Bartlett after this. He has a good chance.
It was interesting that both Tom Scudamore and Sean Bowen had the chance to ride him but chose other horses. That’s their opinion obviously. Rockpoint has been good this season and he deserves his chance here.
The race has cut up and he deserves to be favourite for this. We were half tempted to wait for the National Spirit at Fontwell but this race has cut up because of the Equine Flu issues. Vision Des Flos is a fair horse on his day and this is the sort of race he could win this year. He is the one to beat.
Last time was the best he’s travelled and jumped. We’ve been running him in the best races this year and he’s been improving each time. He will go back novice chasing next year.
There isn’t a lot between them. Cucklington is what he is. He was a bit disappointing earlier in the season but ran a blinder last time. He has form around Wincanton. He has top weight and is a typical consistent handicapper.
Lizzie Langton could be okay in this. She’s open to improvement especially if the ground dries out. She has won around Wincanton before. But it is a wide open handicap.
These are two great old horses for the yard and we’ve put the boys up to take 10lbs off their backs. They are both very straightforward rides and that 10lbs will make a lot of difference.
Grand Vision has been around forever. He was third in an Albert Bartlett. The ground hasn’t dried up too much for him and he seems as good as ever. He’s been a good servant and he always runs his race.
Quite By Chance could be getting well handicapped now. We have tweaked the trip and his wind in the last 12 to 18 months, and the handicapper is starting to help him, so he’s getting down to a mark where he could pop up in a minute.
Flo’sboy Sam has a lot of weight. He is what he is off this mark but he’s totally exposed. Shillingsworth is a nice young horse who was unlucky to fall a couple of times and that just knocked his confidence.
Now he’s had a run and he’s schooled over fences, I think he could be a well-handicapped horse. This step up to two and half miles could suit him. We’re expecting him to run a good race.
We are desperate to get a run into him. He’s missed his last few chances. He’s basically a spring ground horse who just needs a run to settle his mind.
I’m expecting a big run from Battle of Ideas. His disappointing run last time just wasn’t his form and he came back with a bit of a dirty nose. We’ve got him back in good nick and he schooled beautifully the other morning. I really think he’s going to run a big race. He’s shown bits of form that are better than this class of race.