Joe Tizzard: “The Changing Man has been brilliant this season”
Trainer and Coral ambassador Joe Tizzard assesses the chances of his runners at Ascot, Wincanton and Haydock on Saturday.
Oscar Elite has had a rather disappointing season. He finished third at the Cheltenham Festival last year but just hasn’t gone on from that yet. I do think he’s a better horse in the spring though, and while we were going to head straight to Cheltenham, we kept an eye on this race, and with a small field, we thought we’d just as well run him here than take him for a racecourse gallop.
He’s been jumping out of his skin at home, so I think he’s somewhere near the form he was going into last year’s Festival. We’ve left a bit to work on but hopefully he can get some confidence back here and it will be onwards to Cheltenham once again.
Kauto The King is a very consistent sort who loves good ground, and he’ll get that at Wincanton this weekend. He’s run well at the track before, I’m sure he’s off a winnable mark here, and the trip is perfect for him. It’s been an unusual winter as we’ve been able to run him plenty, as there’s been plenty of good going, and this looks a decent opportunity for him.
The Changing Man has been brilliant this season, he’s improved and improved, winning his first two races, and then just bumping into one each time on his last two runs. Those last two were at Taunton and Huntingdon, which were possibly a bit tight for him as well, so Haydock should suit him. He’s a lovely, progressive sort, who should go close again.
Scarface picked up quite a nasty cut in the Coral Lanzarote, he had staples in it for a couple of weeks afterwards so we’ve given him plenty of time to recover. I still don’t think he was giving his usual running at Kempton even before he was pulled up, but we’ve dropped him back to novice company here.
There’s not much between most of these on ratings, good to soft ground and the three miles trip should suit him, and he seems in great form at home, so we’re looking forward to this.
We’re double-handed in this handicap chase. Butterwick Brook ran really well to finish fifth last time, in a class of race that was probably a grade too high for him, so this drop back to a 0 – 110 should suit him. He can be a bit of a lad, and play up a little bit, but he goes well at Wincanton, and Sammy [Twiston-Davies] should get a nice tune out of him.
Faustinovick carries top weight, so Harry Kimber can take off three pounds with his claim. He got his head in front for the first time when winning at Chepstow on his seasonal reappearance, but he’s generally a consistent sort who wouldn’t be without a chance either in what looks an open little race.
The final runner of the day is Per Vino Veritas, and he’s struggling to be honest. He was disappointing at Taunton last time, and if he doesn’t show plenty more here, I think he’ll be going back point-to-pointing.