Joe Tizzard: “He’s a lovely young horse, and could end up anywhere”

Joe Tizzard

Weekend racing insight from the Tizzard stables


For the second weekend running, we’re set to be hit by a storm, and with Ascot, Haydock and Wincanton all calling inspections for Saturday, let’s just hope we get some racing going ahead.

Exeter also deserves praise for rescheduling the lost meeting from last Sunday, moving it to this Sunday, but there must be a doubt about it going ahead. 

We’ve lost meetings all week, and if we lost more obviously it wouldn’t be ideal this close to Cheltenham, particularly for the likes of Master Debonair and Copperhead, who we really want to get another run into before the Festival.

If they don’t run this weekend they won’t run again before Cheltenham, but it’s out of our hands. It wouldn’t be the end of the world as we can always take them away for a racecourse gallop.

The courses involved are all doing the best they can, so there’ll be no complaints from us.

Ascot 13.15 – Master Debonair

We’ve got a lovely team of novice hurdlers this year and Master Debonair is one of them. He comes here now rather than Exeter last Sunday, and although we could have gone to Exeter on Sunday, this is our first preference now.

He’s run well here, winning his last two, and although it is Plan B to an extent, I’d hope he’ll take some beating here against some decent opposition it has to be said, and then it would be all systems go for the Supreme.

Ascot 13.50 – Copperhead

Copperhead is a lovely young progressive horse, who has improved through the back end of last season and into this. He’s won handicaps on his last two runs, and deserves to take his chance in this Grade 2. 

I don’t think he’s stopped improving either. He looks bigger and stronger at home, he’s a gorgeous looking horse, this is the next step for him, but he really could end up anywhere.

He’s entered in the RSA Chase and the National Hunt Chase. If he wins here, he would probably have earned his place in the former, although as a note of caution, we try to give him a decent break between races as he’s a big horse, so that would be a consideration looking at Cheltenham.

Ascot 16.10 – Who Shot Jr

This looks a competitive big field race, and he’s handicapped off the back of a maiden win at Taunton.

He might want better ground, but he’s ready to run, and if gets beat he’ll be dropped a few pounds hopefully, which should make life easier when the better ground comes.

Haydock 14.05 – West Approach

Like a few of ours, West Approach is double entered this weekend, in case we lose a meeting, but this is very much his first preference, rather than Sunday’s Veterans’ Chase at Exeter.

He’s run well over fences this season, but his second to Paisley Park last season is still strong looking form over hurdles, and we thought this looked like a good chance to have a go at a decent pot.

Getting six pounds from The Worlds End gives him a major shout here.

Haydock 15.15 – Elegant Escape

Rated 162, life is never easy for Elegant Escape in these big handicaps, but then he’s earned that rating with some excellent performances.

The Grand National is the target, and this is his trial for it. He’s had his wind tweaked since Chepstow, and I think he’s in really good form.

The conditions should suit him too, but if we did lose Haydock, he does still have the Gold Cup entry and that could be an option.

I was happy enough with his Grand National weight, I suppose it was to be expected.

Haydock 15.50 – Kilbricken Storm

Kilbricken Storm ran in the Cleeve Hurdle last time, and didn’t disgrace himself, he ran OK behind Paisley Park.

He did have his issues last season, but he’s coming back to himself this campaign, and the handicapper has given him a chance here.

He needs to finish in the first six here to qualify for the Pertemps Final at Cheltenham, and if he runs like he has in his last two races, he’ll be in the shake-up, and that should get him qualified.

He’s also in at Exeter on Sunday, but this would be the first preference.

Wincanton 13.37 – Lieutenant Rocco

Lieutenant Rocco is another who missed out when Exeter was lost last weekend.

He was mightily impressive at Chepstow first time up for us. He jumped and galloped well that day, and as a result we have given him a Cheltenham entry [Albert Bartlett], so if he takes the next step up here and was to win impressively, he could go to the Festival.

This is over two miles, and he definitely gets further, but the testing ground here should play to his stamina strengths.

It’s an old cliché, but he is a lovely chaser in the making, he’s a big boy, and this season is a bit of a bonus.

Wincanton 15.23 – Buckhorn George

Buckhorn George has some good form, a second to Sporting John, but was disappointing on New Year’s Day, although he’s a young horse and I’m happy to put a line through that run.

The handicapper has been fair, but no more, but he’s ready to run his race, and if runs as he did at Chepstow and Exeter, he won’t be too far away.

Wincanton 15.57 – Battle Of Ideas

The Coral Champions Club horse is in great form. He’s ready to run, and although I would have a slight concern about the going, I think he can handle it.

This is the right race for him, Harry Kimber schooled him in the week, the pair went well together, and with Harry’s seven pound allowance, I think he runs off a very workable mark here.

Although he hasn’t got his head in front since last summer, he’s a very consistent sort, with a lovely attitude. 

Wincanton 17.07 – Rarest Diamond & My Lady Grey

We run two nice fillies in the concluding handicap hurdle. Rarest Diamond is possibly the nicest of the two, and gets in here off a sensible mark based on her third at Exeter.

She looks really well and seems in great form at home.  

My Lady Grey was a bit disappointing at Taunton last time, although they did omit several of the hurdles that day, and the time before she ran a big race behind Harry Senior at Chepstow, so if she ran to that she’d have a chance off her mark.

However, with 20 runners, it’s a competitive heat, and as typical fillies, neither are the most reliable!  


Exeter 14.30 – Honest Exchange

Hopefully Exeter’s rescheduled meeting will go ahead, and if it does we start with Honest Exchange.

We bought him at the Cheltenham sale in December, after he won a couple of point-to-points, and he’s going nicely at home, so we’ll find out a bit more about him here.

Exeter 15.05 – Kilbricken Storm & White Moon

We could be double-handed in the Pertemps qualifier, although first choice for Kilbricken Storm is Haydock on Saturday. 

We’re obviously trying to get White Moon qualified for the Festival race.  We took him to Huntingdon last time and he finished seventh, one place too low to get qualified!

He seems in good form going into this, and to be honest if he can’t finish in the first six here, he shouldn’t be going to Cheltenham anyway.

Exeter 15.38 – West Approach

Would only come here if we lose Haydock on Saturday, but has been running well over fences so this would be a decent Plan B. 

Exeter 16.10 – Master Debonair

Will hopefully be running at Ascot on Saturday, but is another with a second option this weekend.

Exeter 17.15 – Mocacreme Has

We were very keen on Mocacreme Has when he made his debut last month, but he just ran very green that day.

That run should have sharpened him up no end, he’s a big strong horse so should handle the conditions, and he’s a horse we hold in high regard, so would hope he’d run a big race here.


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