Joe Tizzard: “Cheltenham test looks tougher than Ascot for Amarillo Sky”
Trainer and Coral ambassador Joe Tizzard assesses the chances of his weekend runners at Cheltenham, Uttoxeter and Fontwell.
Pedley Wood is a nice horse, who’s having his third run for us here. He’s learning all the time, and we’re learning all about him each time he runs. He was a bit disappointing first time up, but ran much better at Wincanton last time. He’ll get a handicap mark after this run, and I’m sure he’ll be competitive once we have that.
Amarillo Sky was all set to run at Ascot last weekend, we would have been one of just three runners in a race worth £175,000 there, whereas this is worth £90,000 and there are six running, so it is a less attractive proposition. We could have gone to Sandown next weekend instead, but the owner is keen to run, which is fair enough, and we will find out where we stand with the big guns by running here.
His future is probably in handicaps, but I can still see him finishing third or fourth here, we shouldn’t lose anything by running, and he does run well at the track. It’s still a bit disappointing we didn’t get to run at Ascot as planned, but these things happen.
This looks the right sort of race for Faustinovick, it doesn’t look the strongest, and although the going was a bit quicker than this when he got his head in front two runs ago, he’s a consistent sort who should run well again here.
Sunday begins with Spicy Nelson, who is a lovely big horse. He ran as green as grass in his Bumper, and I don’t think we’ll begin to see the best of him until next season. He’s five now but he still needs to grow into his frame, so we’ll give him three or four runs over hurdles, let him learn his job, and then we should have an exciting prospect for the autumn.
Per Vino Veritas is having his first run over fences, having run with promise a few times over hurdles. He’s schooled well at home, and I can see him running well off this mark in what is a low grade race. My only concern is he’s not been the strongest finisher, so the stiff uphill finish at this track, in tacky ground, might go against him but he is in good form at home.
Rivers Corner has improved in his two Bumper starts so far, the penny really seemed to drop for him at Chepstow last time. He is a distant relative to our Gold Cup winner Native River, and while obviously not putting him in that category, he has been schooling well at home. We do think he’s a nice young horse, he’s another who is learning all the time, and I don’t think he’s without a chance here.