Joe Tizzard update: West End Boy and hopes for 2023
WEST END BOY IS BACK IN FULL WORK
After having ten days off due to the knock that he gave himself, West End Boy is now back in full work, and he is doing well. I don’t think we have lost too much time with him, as his fitness is still good, which means we can hopefully give him his debut run by the end of the month. He’s also had his flu jab so it was an opportunity to get that done, and means we can crack on now.
I am hoping that things will settle down in terms of the field sizes that we’ve been seeing in novice hurdle races recently. If you have been following the racing over the last couple of weeks, you will have seen some large fields, and that’s because firstly, we had a lack of rain during the autumn – which meant the ground wasn’t suitably soft enough for plenty of horses – and then we had the cold spell which saw meetings called off. These two factors meant we’ve all been looking to run our horses in recent weeks.
With the amount of time we have lost with West End Boy, I don’t think we will bother with a Bumper run now, instead we will head straight to a novice hurdle contest, which I have no concerns about, as he has had plenty of schooling at home, so he should be good to go over obstacles.
BEST STILL TO COME WITH SHERBORNE
If I was to name one horse to follow in 2023 it would be Sherborne. I don’t think we have seen the best of the horse yet. He has an entry in a handicap chase at Chepstow on Sunday and I think he will fare much better than when he was pulled up on his chase debut at Kempton back in November. He will run off a mark of 106, and I am expecting better things from him.
I’ve got a bit of a headache with the likes of War Lord, Triple Trade and Whydah Gally, who all did well last year, but it hasn’t quite clicked for them yet. There are definitely races for those horses to win to get them back on track, it’s just about finding the right opportunities, they are all nice horses and I have no doubt they will soon show that again.
I am pleased with the way the season has gone so far, we have had over 30 winners at the halfway point. There are plenty of big races still to run, so a lot will depend on how the next four months go when it comes to rating how the campaign has gone, but at this stage I have to be happy with how this first season with the licence has gone.
That said, we did have a frustrating couple of months in November and December as the ground was so dry, and it simply was not suitable for a lot of my horses. The big positive about that is that a lot of horses are going to be fresh going into the second half of the season. The action is very competitive at the moment, but many of our runners will be big players in the races they enter.
DELIGHTED TO WIN SUSSEX GRAND NATIONAL
It was nice to win the Sussex National at Plumpton last Sunday. My Dad won the race with Christmas In April in 2020, so I am delighted to follow in his footsteps with that success. It was a brilliant finish to the contest, and Atakan was tough under Brendan Powell to grind out the win. That was just his third run over fences, so we are very happy with him.
All the best for the new year to all the Coral Racing Club members. I hope it is a successful one for us all, and I look forward to seeing many of you in the parade ring at a racecourse across 2023.
Joe Tizzard - Coral Racing Club Trainer