Joe Tizzard: ‘Coral Welsh National win would be extra special for us’
Coral ambassador Joe Tizzard gives us the lowdown on the Team Tizzard runners on Monday
The second day of the Christmas period begins with The Strap Man in the Maiden Hurdle.
He’s seven now but has few miles on the clock due to a few problems over the years and I thought he ran well at Ascot on his first start for us off the back of a very long break last month.
We didn’t want to rush him back too quickly after that start, so this looks a good race for him and I think he’s more than capable of winning races, although it might be a case of getting a handicap mark with him.
This is a race we target every season and this year we’re aiming both our previous winners at the race again.
It will be a big ask for Native River to win off his mark of 166 but he’s used to lumping weight like this in the Graded races he runs in and he won this race carrying top weight before.
We also know he loves this track and these conditions and we wanted to run him over this Christmas period, so this made sense and I’m delighted Garth and Anne [Broom, his owners] have let him take his chance.
He’s certainly the classiest horse in the race, we just don’t know if at his age he can give weight to all the others. But he’s in great form at home and one thing’s for sure, he won’t let us or himself down.
Elegant Escape was going to run in the Becher Chase but with the ground being quicker than normal this autumn, we weren’t able to get a run into him before that race.
Instead we changed plans and took him to Sandown for a pipe-opener over hurdles earlier this month.
He’s not had much respite from the handicapper since his win in this race but he’s another who’s fit and well at home and obviously he goes well here.
Brendan Powell had the choice and has gone for Native, with Jonjo O’Neill Jr on Elegant, but there’s not much between our pair.
With the race being run in memory of Kim, it would be extra special if one of the them could win it again.
The Changing Man is a lovely young horse but he’s still a bit of a baby at the moment, so we’re just letting him learn as we go and he’ll be a nice horse for next season.
Kauto The King likes decent ground so even if Kempton gets a bit of rain it shouldn’t turn it too soft for him.
He missed the break at Newbury last time, and ended up staying on well to finish fifth, and he should like this track but I just wonder if the handicapper has got a grip of him now, albeit he has won five times in the last year or so.
The Widdow Maker was a bit of a headstrong horse last season but he’s learning and improving all the time and won really nicely at Wincanton last time.
We were going to go chasing with him but he won so well over hurdles that we’ve come here instead, which is a step up in class for him but one which we think he can take.