Colin Tizzard Cheltenham Festival team – Former Gold Cup hero spearheads Tizzard Festival challenge
Colin Tizzard Cheltenham Festival team
One of the stalwarts of the UK training ranks, Colin Tizzard hasn’t had the best of seasons thus far with his normally powerful stable and it was more than a month into 2021 before the Dorset-based handler saddled a winner. Might his fortunes change come the Festival in March? We look over some of the possible Colin Tizzard Cheltenham Festival runners.
Colin Tizzard is one of the top UK trainers yet despite all his successes he’s so far managed only six Cheltenham Festival winners which includes the 2018 Cheltenham Gold Cup which he won with Native River.
It is fair to say that the current season hasn’t gone to plan for Team Tizzard who at the time of writing has saddled just 28 winners from almost three hundred runners. But could the Dorset-based handler’s luck be about to turn as we enter the last few weeks before the Cheltenham Festival?
We’ve taken a look at some of the potential horses who could make up Colin Tizzard’s Cheltenham Festival team.
Colin Tizzard Cheltenham Festival team – Day one runners
Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase
Eldorado Allen is likely to prove the main hope of Colin Tizzard in the Cheltenham Festival day one highlight if lining up although having been brushed aside by Shishkin that one could reroute to the Marsh Novices’ Chase; but Tizzard does also have an interesting one in ELIXIR DE NUTZ who shaped quite well on his belated chase debut at Hereford back in December.
Hugely progressive as a hurdle, winning three times which included twice at Cheltenham and also the 2019 Tolworth Hurdle his 2019/2020 season didn’t go to plan and he was well beaten in two starts over hurdles.
But back from wind surgery and almost a year off he found only one too good on his chase debut and he’s expected to take a big step forward on that. It would certainly be a tall order for him however to take a red-hot Arkle Chase renewal on just his second start but the lightly-raced seven-year old rates an interesting contender if taking his chance.
National Hunt Chase
OFALLTHEGINJOINTS looks a fair sort for a race of this nature and the former winning pointer could run well at a big price in the amateur riders’ contest.
A decent and progressive sort over hurdles although he only managed to win once, he was nonetheless highly tried and he’s shown a fair level of ability in his three starts to date over fences where he won at Exeter in November with a solid performance to deny St Barts.
He was disappointing when next seen at Doncaster in the December Novices’ Chase where he was sent off favourite but failed to beat a rival although that run did come at a time when the yard wasn’t firing.
If he were to come back to the level he had shown the time before at Exeter then he could get involved in what is sure to be a competitive contest.
Colin Tizzard Cheltenham Festival team – Day two runners
Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle
Tizzard’s main hope in this race could be OSCAR ELITE who won his first two starts over hurdles before disappointing in the Leamington Hurdle at Warwick where he wasn’t helped by a bad mistake three out and he ran better than the bare result in a Listed contest at Exeter latest.
That run was over a shorter trip which possibly didn’t suit and back up to a more suitable trip he can do better although he does have a fair bit to do on form in order to get involved if taking in this contest over the Albert Bartlett.
Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase
Formerly the RSA Chase the Cheltenham Festival day two feature is one of the most eagerly anticipated races of the week and Colin Tizzard has a decent shout in the race with THE BIG BREAKAWAY.
Fourth in last season’s Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle having won his first two starts he made an impressive switch to chasing this term, winning at this venue in November by ten lengths and while he’s finished runner-up on both subsequent outings including behind Shan Blue at Kempton latest he lost little in defeat each time.
His jumping will need to be sharper in this competitive heat but he could prove a decent each-way play against red-hot favourite Monkfish.
Colin Tizzard Cheltenham Festival team – Day three runners
Marsh Novices’ Chase
ELDORADO ALLEN could step up to this longer trip to contest the Marsh Novices’ Chase on day three of the Cheltenham Festival having been readily brushed aside by Shishkin at Doncaster recently and it may be that trainer Colin Tizzard could improve for a stiffer test.
The winner of the November Novices’ Chase back in November he was no match for Allmankind in the Henry VIII Novices’ Chase at Sandown in December prior to that Doncaster outing where he ran well in defeat and the Khalkevi gelding could run well at a big price if taking in this race as opposed to the Arkle Chase where he would reoppose with Shishkin although there’s no obvious reason why he would turn the tables with Nicky Henderson’s star.
Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle
ROSE OF ARCADIA was a welcome winner for the yard when scoring at Wincanton in February and the Arcadio mare could have further improvement to come although this would represent a big step up in class.
A Taunton bumper winner last March he she has shown progressive form over timber and ran out a neck winner latest from Fable although she was all out to do so. This represents a much sterner test but she can improve again and while she has plenty to find on the book she could give a good account.
Colin Tizzard Cheltenham Festival team – Day four runners
Albert Bartlett Hurdle
Tizzard sent out the 2018 winner of this race when Kilbricken Storm stormed up the hill in the Cheltenham Festival day four contest and STRIKING A POSE could run well for the yard at a big price.
A point-to-point winer for Tom Ellis he finished third on each of his first two starts over hurdles over shorter trips but appeared more at home over a stiffer test at Wincanton in December when running out an eight lengths’ victor over Hugos Other Horse.
A further step up in distance could unlock further improvement in the Getaway gelding and while on the formbook he’d have a fair bit of progress to find he could be an interesting each-way play for value hunters.
Cheltenham Gold Cup
2018 Gold Cup winner NATIVE RIVER showed he was no back number when romping to victory in the recent Cotswold Chase and while the veteran Indian River gelding would have to defy his advancing years – Cool Dawn was the last winner aged ten or over back in 1998 – if he was to regain his crown.
He remains a top-class chaser despite not getting any younger and having only finished third in the Many Clouds Chase on his return he readily stepped up on that performance to run out a ten lengths’ victor over multiple Grade One winner Bristol De Mai in the rearranged Cotswold Chase contest at Sandown.
A former winner of the Welsh Grand National he outstayed Might Bite when taking this race in 2018 and the tough front-runner will be a tough nut to crack again with stamina assured and he’ll certainly not be inconvenienced by testing ground should those conditions prevail come March.
Despite not having age on his side he is a live player nonetheless and he could be the focus of a few Cheltenham Festival free bets.