Joe Tizzard's Blog : Tuesday 22nd February 2011
We have confirmed that our top hurdler, Cue Card, will run in the Supreme Novices Hurdle at Cheltenham Festival (March 15 – 18). He's only 5-years-old and it's his only chance to run as a novice - it looks the right race for him.
Nevertheless we've still left Cue Card in the Champion Hurdle because it's an open contest. Last Saturday, Alan King's Mille Chief won Wincanton's Bathwick Tyres Kingwell Hurdle by a nose and Choc Thornton said he needed the run. Meanwhile, Binocular's latest couple of runs have failed to impress AP but I wouldn't be surprised if he delivered on the day like last year ...
Yesterday, Champion Trainer Paul Nicholls galloped 2008 Gold Cup winner, Denman, at Wincanton Racecourse - the first time on a racecourse since undergoing a breathing operation that was carried out after his Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup run (November). Reports state that Denman connections are pleased with the progress and I know Sam Thomas couldn't be happier and wouldn’t want to swap him for anything else in the race!
Interestingly, Nigel Twiston-Davies's Imperial Commander had a racecourse gallop last weekend. Both Imperial and Denman have sustained injuries this season and with so few races for top class horses, course gallops are a great alternative. The opportunity for a trip in the lorry, a change of scenery and a 2-mile gallop to get the blood pumping can really re-energise batteries. And, if racecourse gallops take place after race meetings - the grounds not affected and it's a good relationship builder between owners, trainers, and racecourse officials.
Racing This Week
I've three rides at Taunton tomorrow. Ceepeegee in the Novice Chase - has got it all too do off this rating but we need to get a run into him over fences.
Celtic Ballad runs for the first time over fences - he's an improving sort but would like better ground so we’re likely to run him throughout the season and into the summer.
Wasntme runs in the same race with Matt O'Conner on board - he is what he is and doesn't try too hard. Potentially, Wasntme could have a chance if he wants to!
Wednesday and Thursday are yard days.
Friday I'll be heading to Warwick with a couple of first timers - very much a mission outing.
On Saturday we have Hey Big Spender & Mount Oscar entered in the Racing Post Chase at Kempton Park. Hey Big Spender won last time out at Warwick and is 5lb higher in the handicap. We're not sure whether he'll run this weekend - he could head straight to Cheltenham, it very much depends on the entries. Mount Oscar will definitely run.
Thursday, March 3rd sees Wincanton host their popular Festival Preview Evening. Alice Plunkett hosts with Tom Scudamore, Paul Nicholls, Channel 4's Tanya Stevenson and I on the panel.
Starting at 7pm - Tickets cost £17.50 and includes a hot fork supper - book now on 01963 32344.