Joe Tizzard
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Joe Tizzard: “Mount Rushmore will take all the beating at Chepstow.”

| 23.02.2018

Former jockey also discusses Cue Card, Finian’s Oscar and Fox Norton


1.15 Kempton – Kings Walk

He’s been off a long time. He ran in the autumn over fences but we’ve decided to save his novice status until next year so he’s back over hurdles.

I think he’ll need the run. He’s a horse with ability but he’s got limited mileage as he’s been fragile.

3.00 Kempton – Shoal Bay and Rockpoint

On the ratings Shoal Bay is the best of our two. He likes a bit of good ground. It was a good run last time at Cheltenham where he was upsides at the last.

I don’t think he’s out of this by any stretch of the imagination.

Rockpoint has a bit to find but John Snook was keen to have a go at this nice prize than win an ordinary novice and lose his novice status.

He works really well at home and I think he’s a very nice horse but he has a bit to find tomorrow.

3.35 Kempton – Theatre Guide

Theatre Guide won this a couple of years ago. He’s had a small wind op and we’ve done a lot with him at home so hopefully he will be sharp enough.

He looks good but then he is an older horse so perhaps he might need the run.

He won this race with 10 stone 6lbs on his back and here he is top weight so it’s very different.

It’s a competitive race but he has been placed in two Ladbrokes Trophies and he’s won this race so he’s a fair horse on his day.

4.10 Kempton – Fourth Act

Fourth Act has come good. We won a race with him at Fontwell and he’s on a mark which he is capable of winning off.

He’s in lovely form at home and he won’t disgrace himself.

It might happen a bit quick for him over this trip around Kempton but there aren’t loads of runners and it’s a good pot so we’re having a go.

1.55 Chepstow – Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore ran a blinder at Exeter and probably should have won. He will take all the beating on Saturday. He is a lovely big horse.

Two miles three furlongs around Chepstow will be perfect for him. He was a good buy. He cost £30,000 and looks a nice horse.

4.50 Chepstow – Third Act

Third Act is more of a summer jumper but he can handle this ground. He had a spin around Plumpton ten days ago and came out of that well and this is his grade, a 0-100.

He has won around Chepstow before. He’s in good form and he’ll run a nice race. He’s a bit better than 97.

5.20 Chepstow – Kauto The King and Ruffling Feathers

Kauto The King came third on his first start but was typical of our babies as he need that start so hopefully he will have tightened up for that run.

He doesn’t strike me as a complete bumper winner and he’ll be better when he goes over fences.

Ruffling Feathers is a lovely young horse that is having his first day out. He does everything nicely at home but he will be green, and he will improve for the run.

Alexander Thorne rides and is based at Paul Nicholls.

He’s a good lad who made the effort to come to us on a Sunday morning three or four times, so he’s earned his chance. Anyone who makes the effort to come and ride out we try and give them a chance. He rode Third Act for us at Plumpton last week.


2.50 Fontwell – Fergal Mael Duin

He has slipped to a very workable mark, and has acted round Fontwell before.

He’s a massive horse and as long as an Arctic Lorry, so you’d think he wouldn’t cope with Fontwell but that’s where he’s done his winning.

He’s in good form and he’s dropped down to a low rating so he has a definite chance.

4.55 Fontwell – Quiz Master

He’s been knocking on the door. We ran him quickly after Hereford where he had bumped into a decent horse and got beat, and it just came too quick and our horses were a bit wrong.

He seems in good nick at home and he deserves to be winning. He’s acted around Fontwell before so he can go well.

Cue Card

Cue Card ran a cracking race last Saturday. I said in the blog that we knew he was in really good nick and we were confident he would run well, but he still has to go and do it on the track.

It was just a pleasure to watch. I was so proud of him.

The crowd at Ascot treated him as if he had won. They cheered and applauded him out of the parade ring and he jig-jogged all the way back to the stables, it was if he thought he had won. He knew that he’d done good.

The public have really taken this horse to their hearts, but that brings a lot of pressure on us, as we would hate it more than anyone if anything happened to him, but his performance just quietened a few people down.

He’s not ready to be retired and he proved that he is still capable of running big races in that grade. We’re not necessarily expecting him to go to Cheltenham and win but he will not disgrace himself.

He will run a big race in whatever race he runs in and stranger things have happened.

Paddy gave him a fantastic ride. There was a lot of pressure on him as well. He went out there and grabbed the bull by the horns and stood him off at every fence, it was brilliant to watch.

He basically told Cue Card to enjoy himself, and show off his jumping, and you saw his confidence grow throughout the race It was a joy to watch.

In terms of which race he runs in, we have plenty of time to decide, and there are lots of factors to weigh up, so we will just keep our options open.

Finian’s Oscar

We tried the hurdle route, and if he’d bolted up in the Cleeve then we would have stuck to that route.

As it turned out he was one of ours that probably wasn’t particularly healthy when he ran and his wind caught him out, so we’ve had his wind done and he’s much better now.

You could well see him with some headgear on, as we schooled him on Wednesday and you could see that he just needs a bit of help.

Whether it’s cheekpieces or blinkers we’ll decide nearer the time, but we will certainly school him in the blinkers. It’s just to sharpen him up.

I’m not expecting him to suddenly jump like Cue Card but we just don’t want him losing a couple of lengths when he’s jumping.

He’s just not concentrating that’s all it was. When he’s upsides another horse, he’s looking at that horse rather than concentrating on the fence in front of him.

He’s a very good horse and he’s only had a couple of disappointing runs. He looked impressive in the first half of the season and it would be foolish to ignore him.

Our horses are coming right and his skin looks great, and he’s always had a lot of class, so you’d be very brave to write him off.

I don’t think he minds good ground so if it dries up a bit that would be no problem.

I think he’ll run a big race. At the start of the season he was one of our best prospects and all he’s had is a mid-season blip. He can finish the season strong and still be that horse.

Fox Norton

We missed Newbury because he had a bit of pus in his foot, and we just have to work out which route to take, whether it’s the Champion Chase or the Ryanair.

Ground will be a key factor. I would be leaning towards the Ryanair as I thought his best performance last year was over two and half miles.

The reason we ran him in the King George was because we believed he stays, so I’d lean towards going the longer trip but no decisions have been made.

We are really pleased with the horses. Their summer coats are coming through and they all look lovely.

Now we just need a nice clean run over the next couple of weeks and then a bit of luck, and hopefully we can get on the scoreboard at Cheltenham.





Joe Tizzard

Former Jump jockey Joe Tizzard enjoyed a stellar career in the saddle, with his record 91 wins to claim the 1998-99 champion conditional title gaining him prominence. Tizzard’s first Cheltenham Festival successes came during that period, including an Arkle win onboard the Paul Nicholls trained Flagship Uberalles. However, it was his Grade 1 victories in partnership with Cue Card, trained by dad Colin, which really catapulted Joe into the big time. Now assistant trainer to his father the Tizzards’ Dorset yard is home to some of the most exciting horses in training, including Cue Card, Thistlecrack and Native River. You can read Joe’s thoughts and get exclusive insight at throughout the 2019-20 season.