Mark Howard Publications Ltd

Tuesday Review

02-November-2021 15:46
in General
by Admin

Last winter was a tough one for the Tizzard stable with only 37 winners and a strike-rate of 9%. However, the yard have made a much better start to the new campaign 15 winners already including the Listed Colin Parker Memorial Chase at Carlisle courtesy of Fiddlerontheroof and Eldorado Allen provided them with their second win in the Grade 2 Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter on Tuesday. Despite winning a Grade 2 event last season, the ex-French gelding came up short against the best two miles novice chasers last winter finishing a well beaten second in the Arkle and a remote fifth over two and a half miles at Aintree. However, he produced a gutsy display to win on his reappearance reeling in Hitman close home to prevail by a length. His connections are keen to step him back up to two and a half miles at some stage this term.

One can't help thinking Hitman should have provided Paul Nicholls with his eighth win in the two miles one event. Dropping back in distance having seemingly not got home over two and a half miles at Aintree - finished in front of Eldorado Allen - the five year old raced enthusiastically and jumped accurately and quickly. Indeed, it meant he was in front on the approach to the fourth last and, while he was still leading halfway up the run-in, the Falco gelding was worn down by the Tizzard runner. It can be argued that the lack of a run may have cost him as he got tired during the latter stages. One can't help feeling that if he had been ridden with more restraint, he would have scored comfortably. Despite this reversal, he remains the best long-term prospect. Don't forget Kauto Star finished second in the Haldon Gold Cup in 2005 off a mark of 149 before winning the Tingle Creek Chase next time out. Rated 151, he will appreciate the likely flat out gallop at the Esher track next month and shouldn't be underestimated. 

The champion trainer enjoyed better luck in the staying novices' chase with Threeunderthrufive proving too classy for his three opponents. Jumping well, he readily pulled away in the homestraight to win decisively by fifteen lengths. The Shantou gelding had finished second on his fencing bow at Chepstow last month but his jumping was more assured here and he proved in a different league to his rivals. Rated 141 over hurdles, he looks a strong stayer and it wouldn't be a surprise me if he developed into a National Hunt Chase, Scottish National or Bet365 Gold Cup contender in the spring. Interestingly, stablemate Enrilo won the same novice event last year before passing the post in front in the latter event at Sandown (later disqualified). I would expect him to develop into a high-class staying handicap chaser without being a top notcher.

Ask Me Early was nominated as a live player for the Welsh National in One Jump Ahead (page 174) and Harry Fry's gelding booked his place in the Chepstow marathon with a hard fought win over hurdles at the West Country track. The grey won three times over fences last season and was having only his third start over timber in the opening two miles five novices' hurdle. Sean Bowen's mount was well backed beforehand but looked in trouble approaching the final flight. He rallied well though and led close home to win by a neck. The Ask gelding looks tailormade for the Christmas feature. Similar to Colin Tizzard, Harry Fry endured a tough campaign last winter but his string are in splendid form with 6 winners during October and he is now underway for this month, too.

While he wasn't a betting proposition, Three Stripe Life provided the Top 40 Prospects with a winner at Fairyhouse. A high-class bumper performer, the Leading Light gelding finished fourth at Cheltenham in March and made short work of his dozen rivals in the two miles maiden hurdle. Green early on, his jumping was accurate (bar the last) and Davy Russell asked his mount to settle the issue after the second last. A six lengths winner, he will come into his own over further and his connections feel he wants softer ground. In the meantime, he will be entered in the Grade 1 Royal Bond Novice Hurdle over the same C&D (28th November), for which entries close on Wednesday this week, according to trainer Gordon Elliott.


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