Saturday Runners: Joe Tizzard sends a strong brace to Cheltenham
WAR LORD WELL-BACKED BUT CLUB TRAINERS ARE ON WEATHER WATCH AS TEMPERATURES PLUNGE
With temperatures having plunged across the UK in recent days, all our Coral Racing Club trainers will be hoping the mercury rises sufficiently for Saturday’s action to take place as planned, as all four have exciting entries.
Joe Tizzard sends a brace to Cheltenham and also to Hereford. The stable’s conditional jockey, Harry Kimber, is on the recent Wincanton third, Furkash, in Hereford’s opener, and Pedley Wood in the novices’ hurdle that follows at 12.47.
Should Cheltenham’s big day get the green light, Joe looks to have two strong chances at jumping’s HQ. The Widdow Maker was no match for Paint The Dream at Newbury last time, but back over two miles here cannot be discounted off bottom weight in an open looking contest.
And Joe has a leading contender in the AIS December Gold Cup, off at 1.50, in the shape of War Lord, third in the Haldon Gold Cup on his seasonal return, and well-backed for this ante-post this week. Don’t forget, you can read the thoughts of Joe Tizzard on all his weekend runners in his Coral blog here
With the frost-related threat to fixtures, Jonjo O’Neill has taken the precaution of entering Prince Escalus at both Cheltenham and Hereford. The 7-year-old will hopefully take his chance against The Widdow Maker and co over fences at Cheltenham, or head to Hereford for a spin over hurdles in their 1.57.
Jonjo also saddles Trapista in Hereford’s 2.33. The mare will be ridden by Jonjo O’Neill jr, as will the pair’s third runner at the track, Halifax, in the handicap hurdle off at 3.07.
One course that shouldn’t have any weather-related concerns is Wolverhampton, and Scott Dixon will be represented at one of the two tracks he’s based at with four runners on Saturday evening. In the 4.50 he sends out two, Ahlawi and Amber Dew. The former justified favouritism when scoring over course and distance last month and should go well for Dale Swift, while Kieran O’Neill is on the latter, a filly who was only denied by a head on her last run, also at this venue.
Scott’s representative in the 5.50, the seven furlong fillies’ handicap, is Theotherside, who will be having her first run on the Tapeta here, while his quartet is completed by Harbour Vision in the 6.50. Elisha Whittington takes off five pounds from this 7-year-old, which could be handy for the top weight as he bids to follow up last month’s course success.
Our fourth Club trainer, Rebecca Menzies, also has a runner on the all-weather, this time at Newcastle. Unbridled Power has finished third on both his starts since switching to Rebecca from Willie Mullins, and he now steps up in trip to two miles for this AW Championships Fast Track Qualifier, for which Kevin Stott’s mount is just one of a trio lining up.
Rebecca will be hoping at least one of Cheltenham or Doncaster gets the go ahead, as she has her recent Catterick winner, The Churchill Lad, lined up for either the 12.05 at Cheltenham or Doncaster’s 1.30.
Good luck to all our trainers, and their owners, with their runners this weekend.