JOE TIZZARD will take the reins from dad Colin this year after 23 years at Venn Farm.
In their own words the stable had a tough campaign last year with the horses struggling to stay healthy.
This season feels like a big reset with Joe taking over and Brendan Powell signed to ride most of the string.
With many of their big guns on a comeback mission, early season form could tell us whether the Tizzards will be back in the big time this season.
“He was brilliant as ever last year. After his Sandown win he was the top-rated staying chaser in Britain and even at Aintree and Cheltenham he showed up well when the ground was quick enough for him.
“He’s further forward this year than usual and the Betfair Chase is his early target. We might even run him over hurdles before that if the rain comes, possibly at Wetherby.
“He’s not getting any younger, and needs it soft, but we still know how good he can be and he’ll be in all the same big races.”
“He wasn’t quite at his best last year like a lot of ours but he kept on showing up well against some proper horses. He’ll start at Carlisle for the Colin Parker and then the Ladbrokes Trophy will be his main target.
“I think there’s a huge pot in him. He needs to take that next step as all novices do, but we’re hopeful he should kick on again and might enter that Gold Cup picture if he does.”
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“He took to fences really well last year, he’s a Grade 2 winner. His form slipped halfway through the year and at Aintree but he was second in an Arkle too.
“We’ll start him in the Haldon Gold Cup, Exeter will be a lovely place to start him. I think two and a half will be his bag in time.”
The Big Breakaway
“He was running a lovely race at Newton Abbot before he came down, he seems fine after that, thankfully. We faced an impossible task giving Bravemansgame nearly a stone and so it proved.
“We’ll give him a bit of time and then try and give him a confidence boost, the Intermediate Chase at Sandown could work. He’ll have an entry in the Ladbrokes Trophy.”
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“Last year was really frustrating, we thought he was a real Gold Cup contender off the back of his third in it. He just never looked right and we know he’s better than that. We could blame the ground and what not, but it wasn’t.
“His novice form with Defi Du Seuil was magic and we’ll let him tell us when he’s right. He’s done his first bits of schooling and already looks sharper.
“We’ll get a couple of away days in and then hopefully have him bang on for some big races after Christmas. We’ve still got faith in him.”
“He’s going seriously under the radar. He ran well at Cheltenham and then wasn’t far behind Bravemansgame at Aintree.
“We were tempted to go down the Stayers’ Hurdle route with him but he jumps like a stag so we’ll go novice chasing. We’ll start him at Cheltenham this weekend and he’s our leading light in this division.”
Elixir De Nutz
“He’s been very fragile. He’s back in and he looks good at the moment, I’ve just got to wait for the ground for him.
“He’ll stay over fences and if we can get a couple of runs into him I know there’s plenty of nice races for him, he’s a Grade 1 winner at the end of the day.”
“It’s not easy for him off his mark as he’s not the most consistent. He had one of his hard days at Aintree but we’re not sure if he’s man enough for the Grand National again. He might even go in Cross-Country races this year.”
Rose Of Arcadia
“We thought she should have won at Newbury and she’ll go chasing in time but there’s another pot at Wincanton we have our eye on on Badger Beers day. She’s a lot better than she’s shown if she can learn to race a bit better.”
“He injured his knee in his novice days and last year he just got a bit of arthritis in it. He’s on some new medication and will stay over hurdles for a bit. The Great Yorkshire Hurdle will be his starting point. He’s still got ability.”
Striking A Pose
“He’s a gorgeous horse and he’s ready to go novice chasing. He’s schooled really well and his mark means we can start in a handicap which will be perfect. We like him a lot.”
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