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Taking the Reins: Episode 2 – Second Best

| 10.05.2023

We’re continuing our look at each episode of Coral’s exciting new documentary series Taking The Reins, which follows Joe Tizzard in his first season as a trainer.

Part two is emotionally charged from the outset, with the loss of Joe’s sister Kim weighing heavily on his mind at Christmas.

Joe reflects: “Christmas and family days like that is when it hits home a little bit, but we’ll talk about her and toast her and stick together.”

All the team at Venn Farm also have to deal with the sad passing of retired stable great Cue Card, a nine-time winner at Grade One level.

The 16-year-old claimed two Cheltenham Festival victories and the 2015 King George at Kempton.

“We’ve had so many well-wishers about him and he had a huge following, so it was sad,” laments Joe. “He’s been huge in our yard…and put us on the map. He’ll be long remembered around here.”

But with the support of his dedicated staff and one of his long-standing owners John Romans, Joe is determined to keep his stable at the top of their game.

As the jump season hots up, we witness the intense build-up to two of the biggest races of the year, the King George VI Chase and the Coral Welsh Grand National.

Our favourite Episode 2 quotes

Joe: “We wouldn’t be where we are if it wasn’t for Kim’s input in this business, it’s as simple as that…I think it would be me and Kim training now if she was still around.”

Barn manager Hameer Singh: “You will never get a horse like Cue Card again. I’m lucky enough to have got that horse. I love this horse. I had a good time with him, very good time.”

Colin: “Cue Card was an exceptional horse. He changed us from a point-to-point yard to a usual training yard, to where we are now – and I’ll never forget it.”

A more light-hearted Colin when advising owners on which horses are coming up the gallops: “I’m not quite sure – it’s a waste of time having me here!”

Joe joking with John Romans: “He does as he’s told – it’s very important that owners do what they’re told!”

Joe on Coral naming the Welsh National after Kim: “It was lovely of them to do it – mum and dad really appreciated it.”

All six episodes of Taking the Reins have been released on the Coral Racing Club YouTube channel, making it easily accessible and free-to-view.

Coral PR Director and Executive Producer Simon Clare said: “Coral is a horse racing brand through and through and our main aim is to get our customers closer to the action to enhance their passion for the sport.

“Given the huge popularity of fly-on-the-wall sports documentaries, we decided to take the plunge, and with our partners at Equine Productions, embarked on a major project charting the progress of Joe Tizzard’s first season as a racehorse trainer.

“Over a six-month period, focusing on a wide range of compelling stories featuring his racehorses, his owners, his family and his hard-working team, around some of the biggest race meetings in the calendar.

“We hope viewers will find this an entertaining and exciting watch and would like to thank Joe and everyone who participated in the series for their willingness to open their lives and emotions to the cameras.

“The Equine Productions team have done an amazing job but we couldn’t have produced the series without the support of many individuals and bodies within the racing industry to which we are indebted.”

Other episodes

Episode 1 – Chasing Gold
Episode 3 – Frozen Sky
Episode 4 – Another Chance
Episode 5 – Cheltenham
Episode 6 – The Grand National

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Tony Kelshaw