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Cheltenham Festival Stable Tour: Colin Tizzard


Ed Quigley gets the lowdown on Colin Tizzard’s Cheltenham Festival contingent, with the Dorset handler expected to saddle around a dozen horses at the showpiece in the Cotswolds.

War Lord (Arkle)

“He will go straight to the Arkle. I have been impressed with him this season and he enjoys jumping fences. If the rain arrived he could run a mighty race. Obviously, the only race he has lost this season was in the Grade 1 at Sandown behind Edwardstone, and on the face of it, it would be a tall order to turn that form around; but if the ground came up really testing that would be no problem for him and he could easily be in the mix”

Eldorado Allen (Ryanair Chase)

“We’ve had a chat about things and I would say the Ryanair is almost certainly the target. Newbury is a flat track and he did it nicely, but 3m2f around Cheltenham is a different ball game and a stiff two-and-a-half looks perfect for him at this stage of his career. Allaho will be tough to beat, but you can never be afraid of one horse and we know our lad acts around Cheltenham”

Amarillo Sky (Grand Annual)

“I’m really happy with him, and he won really well at Newbury. There was good cut in the ground that day and he seemed really happy on it. The tongue-tie seems to have made a difference and he looks great in his coat, he’s thriving. If he can put in a round of jumping like that again then he must have a good chance”

Elixir De Nutz (Grand Annual/Arkle)

“I’m delighted he has his mojo back – it has taken a while. We worked him in a tongue-tie and he showed loads of his old zest so we have kept it on since. He fairly bolted up at Kempton the other day and it was great to see. He’s gone up 8lb for that, but still looks well-treated on his old hurdles form and Terry (Warner) seems keen to run in the Grand Annual. However, there is a chance the Arkle could cut up to six or seven runners, so it would be daft not to leave him in it for the time being and see what happens. He goes on any ground and we know he likes Cheltenham”

Lostintranslation (Ultima Handicap Chase)

“At his age, he probably isn’t winning a Gold Cup or maybe even a Ryanair, and a rating of 155 would probably tell you that. I just wonder, if we popped him in a Handicap he might just find things easier; he is a big strong horse, so he could be better off trying to carry a big weight in a handicap instead of trying to mix it with those championship horses. When he is on-song he is brilliant, but he just hates that winter ground now as we saw at Ascot last time out. If we got some proper spring ground he could run a massive race – he got some lovely ground at Ascot in November and he bolted up. If the ground ends up really soft for the Festival, I doubt he will run at all.”

Reserve Tank (Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle)

“He’s been such a hard horse to keep sound; he won us two Grade 1’s, but hasn’t been the easiest to train. I see he has dropped to a mark of 132 now – he would have just snuck in last year’s race (Martin Pipe Cond’ H’Cap Hurdle) off that mark so it would be touch and go whether he gets in. If we got a dry week at Cheltenham, it wouldn’t shock me if ran well off that type of rating; he needs proper spring ground and from what he shows me at home, a lot of his old ability is still there”