Tizzard confident Fox Norton is the one to beat in Shloer

Colin Tizzard: trainer has had a good Open meeting so far

PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos) Tizzard confident Fox Norton is the one to beat
By Stuart Riley 7:01aM 13 NOV 2016

COLIN TIZZARD believes Fox Norton is the "one they've all got to beat" at Cheltenham on Sunday when he tests the Champion Chase credentials of his stable's newest recruit.

A highly impressive 11-length winner over course-and-distance for Neil Mulholland at last month's Showcase meeting, Fox Norton has his first run for Ann and Alan Potts having changed hands and yards since his latest victory.

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Last year's Racing Post Arkle Trophy third faces seven rivals and has to give weight to Grade 1 winners Simonsig and Special Tiara in the Grade 2 Shloer Chase. Nevertheless Tizzard is optimistic.

"He came to us looking a picture and is as fit as a flea," he said. "We jumped him on Thursday and he's just a beautiful horse.

"He won by 11 lengths at Cheltenham last time and was third in an Arkle so he has form at the course and he's the one they've all got to beat. Hopefully we can go for all the top two-mile races with him this season."

Special Tiara carries De Bromhead hopes

On bare form Henry de Bromhead, who lost a number of horses in the Potts silks to Tizzard this season, might be justified in thinking his front-running Special Tiara is worthy of favourite's status – especially in receipt of 4lb.

The Champion Chase third, who was beaten just three and a half lengths by Sprinter Sacre and Un De Sceaux that day, fares best on Racing Post Ratings.

His trainer said: "This has been the plan for ages. We were always going to start off here and he's in absolutely super form. He loves Cheltenham and has some terrific runs to his name around there so I'm hoping for the best."

In his pomp Simonsig won the 2012 Neptune and 2013 Arkle but has spent considerable time off the track since.

Trainer Nicky Henderson relaunched Sprinter Sacre in this race a year ago and said: "Touch wood we've had a clean run with him and everything has gone smoothly since he came in, which is a rarity with him. He's bound to improve for the run but he's ready to start. It's one jump at a time with him."

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