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Joe Tizzard: “Slate House is ready to unleash his potential”

Latest insight from the Tizzard stables

Saturday runners

12.05 Cheltenham – L’Air Du Vent

He would have run on Friday but for the meeting being called off so he runs in this race instead. It’s the right thing to run him in this though as all our horses without exception have improved for a run. I’m sure he has too. He’s a strong enough chap.

We can aim smaller in a minute if he’s not up to winning a Grade 2 but he ran well at Cheltenham last time and I’m sure he’ll run a big race. 

13.15 Cheltenham – Rockpoint

He had his first run over fences here at Cheltenham and stayed on nicely. This ground will suit him and there is no reason why he won’t be in the first four again. Like all our horses he will improve for that first run and also for the experience, and of course he stays really well. 

13.50 Cheltenham – West Approach

This race has cut up so that will suit him. Robbie said he felt like he was going to win everywhere in his last race and with hindsight wishes he’d held on to him a little bit longer. He’s actually quite a fat little horse and he looks fitter after that run.

I’ve been saying it for two years but one of these days he’s going to win one of these big pots. He keeps knocking on the door and he hasn’t had his big day yet but it could be today. 

14.25 Cheltenham – Slate House

It’s a really competitive race and we’re well aware of that, but with Slate House we just believe he’s ready to unleash his potential.

He was visually very impressive last time, and he proved that he can handle the ground that day. He’s in as good a form and whilst it’s as ultra-competitive a race as you can find, we couldn’t be happier with our horse.

Sunday runners

12.45 Cheltenham – Valhalla

We’re running him in this boys’ (conditionals) race as he had a nasty fall last time out at Wetherby when he was travelling very nicely. This looks a lovely opportunity for him really but he doesn’t win very often and we are just trying to build his confidence back up. 

12.55 Fontwell – Battle of Ideas

We’ve definitely picked the right race to go for. Just the four rivals to beat. Battle of Ideas is as good as we’ve ever had him. He’s been working really nicely. We had his wind done, we cured his ulcers and we’ve given him time since his last run, so we couldn’t really be happier with him. The ground shouldn’t be a problem and that 2m5f round there will be ideal. I think he’ll enjoy himself.

I keep saying it, but we haven’t seen the best of this horse yet. At some stage soon he’s going to show us that he’s well handicapped, and hopefully that will be Sunday. 

On Chris Hughes schooling Battle of Ideas last week

Chris can ride. There’s no two ways about it. We let him school last year as a bit of fun, but this year we did it properly for him as we knew he was capable.

He’s a brave young man because he hasn’t sat on a horse for a while and hasn’t jumped since last year. But he enjoyed it and he didn’t do a thing wrong. It was really nice to see and great for a lad in his position to be able to come and do it and enjoy it so much.

Joe