Tizzards eye another big weekend pot in Becher Chase
The Becher Chase "looks the right race" for Viconte Du Noyer
PICTURE: John Grossick (racingpost.com/photos) Tizzards eye another big weekend pot in Becher By Richard Birch 7:27AM 1 DEC 2016
JOE TIZZARD described the explosive start made to the season by his father Colin’s Dorset yard as “a dream come true” as they look forward to continuing the run of big-race successes when Viconte Du Noyer tackles the £140,000 Betfred Becher Chase at Aintree on Saturday.
High-profile, lucrative victories on successive Saturdays by eight-time Grade 1 hero Cue Card in the Betfair Chase and exciting young stayer Native River in the Hennessy Gold Cup – on a winning afternoon for Cheltenham Gold Cup favourite Thistlecrack – have propelled Team Tizzard into second place behind Paul Nicholls in the trainers’ championship, with nearly £750,000 in prize-money already banked.
Before that, the Venn Farm outfit enjoyed a double on BetVictor Gold Cup day at Cheltenham with Thistlecrack and Viconte Du Noyer, while Gentleman Jon landed Wincanton’s feature Badger Ales Trophy the previous Saturday.
Cue Card and Thistlecrack – who could clash in the 32Red King George VI Chase at Kempton over Christmas – plus Native River are all potential Gold Cup runners in March, while it is hoped Viconte Du Noyer, transferred to the yard in September by Alan and Ann Potts, will prove himself a proper Grand National candidate on Saturday.
“We’ve got plenty of horses for the big races now – and they’re good ones too,” said Tizzard, assistant to his father. “It’s a dream come true for us, and a lovely position to be in.
“The horses are all healthy. They’re really, really well. We’re having a dream run out on the track. Let’s hope it continues.”
'Huge race' expected
All roads could lead back to Aintree in April if Viconte Du Noyer, a top-priced 12-1 for the Becher, continues the stable’s surge on Saturday.
Tizzard said: “He was impressive at Cheltenham the other week, and the Becher looks the right race. He’s in great form and I expect him to run a huge race on Saturday.”
The going on the National course was on Thursday described as good to soft, good in places. It is slightly less testing on the Mildmay and hurdles track, which are good, good to soft in places.
Both courses will be watered with 5mm applied, with mainly dry conditions expected for the rest of the week.
Colin Tizzard is the Big Read in RPSunday this weekend