Colin Tizzard

Three or four years ago Colin Tizzard was a dairy farmer who trained racehorses, trained a few good ones too. In the last two years he has evolved into a trainer with one of the best yards in Britain, with horses the envy of everyone with a licence. The cows are probably doing pretty well too.
Last season Tizzard ranked third in the trainers’ table, setting personal records for winners and prize-money through the exploits of King George winner Thistlecrack and runner-up Cue Card, Hennessy and Welsh National winner Native River, two-mile ace Fox Norton and star novices Finian’s Oscar and Pingshou.
Where there is a big race, there is usually a Tizzard-trained contender with a big chance, and such is the firepower at his still newish complex in the hills above Milborne Port that few would bet against him doing better yet this campaign.
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Sum up last season in one word . . . Fantastic (but now we have to do it again)
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The strength of the yard is in the chasing division’s established stars – there is an echo of the heyday of Michael Dickinson here, of Paul Nicholls in the Kauto-Denman days – and they are backed up by a sturdy band of novices that bodes well for the continued prosperity of Team Tizzard.
The winners will not flow with the regularity of Nicholls, Henderson and Skelton, but when they come they will carry weight. Not so much the punters’ pal but the purists’ pal.
And it is the big names who will occupy our time. The fabulous Cue Card may not now win a Gold Cup, but the returning Thistlecrack has the credentials to complete Tizzard’s big-race portfolio with victory at Cheltenham in March. Maybe this year there’ll be gold top on the doorstep.
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Rival to watch . . . Thistlecrack and Native River will have to watch out for each other when they get to the Gold Cup
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STABLE PROFILE
Yard Spurles Farm
Where Milborne Port, Dorset
Started training 1998
Horses in yard 100+
Members of staff 32
Assistant trainers Joe Tizzard, Chris Wald
Head groom Leia Crocker
Travelling head groom Richie Young
Jockeys No stable jockey; Bryan Cooper rides the Potts horses in England, Paddy Brennan rides for Jean Bishop, Tom Scudamore rides for John & Heather Snook, Richard Johnson rides a lot for Brocade Racing
Stable sponsor Coral
Website colintizzard.co.uk
Twitter @colintizzard
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WINNERS IN BRITAIN
2016-17 57
2015-16 50
2014-15 38
2013-14 26
PROFIT/LOSS TO £1 STAKE
2016-17 +8.75
2015-16 -46.75
2014-15 -79.46
2013-14 -149.81
PRIZE-MONEY 2016-17
£2,041,055
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Colin Tizzard's list of Runners

Ainchea

Info: Four-year-old gelding Flemensfirth (sire) - Lady Petit (dam)
Form: 2
A beautiful big horse who really looked the part walking round the parade ring at Cheltenham last week, when he made a lovely start to his career and might have run into a good one – the third horse was seven lengths back. There's improvement to come and it's possible he might go straight over hurdles now.

Allchilledout

Info: 8g Alflora - Miss Chinchilla
Form: 7/P124P-
He's had his wind done and we've worked on his shins as well, he had sore shins and that's why his form was in and out. He's working beautifully now and I think he's well handicapped. There's a race for him at Chepstow in about a fortnight's time and he does love soft ground.

Bally Longford

Info: 9g Gold Well - Stay On Line
Form: 46336-4
Off since last Christmas with a stress fracture of the pastern but is schooling well again now. He’s done plenty of work and it was nice to get him back on the racecourse at Wincanton on Sunday – the run will have done him good and we can look for a nice race at one of the big tracks for him.

Bang On Frankie

Info: 5g Kalanisi - Shuil Abbey
Form: 35-6
Beautiful-looking horse who ran promising races in bumpers at Newbury and Ascot. He’s schooled well but was a bit disappointing on his hurdling debut at Aintree on Sunday. He’ll benefit from the experience; he’s fast enough for two miles, but two and a half miles will suit him.

Battle Of Ideas

4g Fracas - Haven't A Notion
Info: 6yo g Nayef x Snow Goose
Form: RPR 94 OR -
Ran all right on his hurdling debut in a decent race at Fontwell, but he'll probably do better on a more galloping track. He goes to Chepstow on Tuesday, where he was second in a bumper, and that might help him.

Bramble Brook

Info: 7g Kayf Tara - Briery Ann
Form: P5P-223
Lovely looking horse but still a maiden after 15 starts, he's been running well but we think there's something stopping him at the end of his races. He'll have his wind done and hopefully that'll fix it and allow him to win a novice handicap chase.

Brynmawr

Info: 7g Double Trigger - Little Feat
Form: P/F7422-
A big horse who was late coming back in. He won't be out until after Christmas and will go novice chasing. He might have one run over hurdles first.

Buckhorn Timothy

Info: 8g Tamure - Waimea Bay
Form: 15/200-1
Had a stress fracture in his pelvic region, which kept him off through the second half of the season, but he came back with a win over hurdles and will probably run again over hurdles before going back chasing. The further the better and he handles most ground.

Cue Card

Info: 11g King's Theatre - Wicked Crack
Form: 3121F2-
He'll do exactly the same as last season – Wetherby, Haydock, then the King George. I think he's better this autumn than he was 12 months ago. We took him to Wincanton for a gallop and he finished eight lengths ahead of a 155-rated horse. He's a bit different these days – he used to pull hard in his work but he's behind the bridle now, he's settled down and that's why he stays so well. He's in very good form and that gallop should set him up nicely for the Charlie Hall. We have to do everything right by him because people will say he's getting old and we should retire him. After Christmas it'll be Ascot and then on to Cheltenham where we'd have a good think about the Gold Cup because he's fallen in it the last twice, and maybe the Ryanair is an option.

Drinks Interval

Info: 5m King's Theatre - Dame Fonteyn
Form: 63-411
Improving mare who looked to have a touch of class the way she went about winning at Ludlow last week under a penalty. She's doing her owners proud and is quite pacy, so although I think she'd stay three miles I'm not worried about keeping her to two or two and a half miles. She seems to go on any ground.

Elegant Escape

Info: 5g Dubai Destination - Graineuaile
Form: 14577-2
We aimed him quite high last year and he ran a good race in the Albert Bartlett, but he was over the top by Aintree. I was very pleased with him on his chasing debut and he does stay very well, so he could be one for the four-miler at the Cheltenham Festival. He'll probably run again at Cheltenham next month and he'll improve from his reappearance.

Exxaro

Info: 7g Presenting - Mandys Gold
Form: 222240
We found out that he had a kissing spine, so he's had the injections. He's been a bit frustrating but may not have been able to do himself justice, so we might see a different horse now. He's back in work and could be out again in novice handicaps in a fortnight or so; he likes decent ground.

Finian's Oscar

Info: 5g Oscar - Trinity Alley
Form: 11112-1
He started the season well last year and then got stuck in the mud at Wetherby before he went to the Cheltenham Festival. He ran a brilliant race at Cheltenham when he was staying on better than anything else to be just beaten so we decided we could be very positive with him when he ran at Aintree and Richard Johnson was the perfect jockey for him that day. We’re going to go for the Hennessy with him. He’s on 154 which is a lovely mark and we don’t really want to go and run before that and end up with a 7lb penalty. We might look for a racecourse gallop and go straight there with him.

Flaming Charmer

Info: 9g Flemensfirth - Kates Charm
Form: P12433-
Decent handicap chaser who's probably rated up to his ability now. He'll win races at a certain level around Exeter and Wincanton when there's plenty of cut in the ground. He stays two and a half miles well and will go further.

Fourth Act

Info: 8g King's Theatre - Erintante
Form: 44P653-
Another who's had a wind operation. He's been working well and will go to Ascot on Saturday for the big 3m handicap chase he finished fourth in 12 months ago, and I'd hope the operation will make a big difference.

Fox Norton

Info: 7g Lando - Natt Musik
Form: 112211-
He was beaten a head in the Champion Chase, then won Grade 1s at 2m and 2m4f – the question is probably 'do we step him up in trip?' and the answer is 'do we need to?'. You might say he should have won the Champion Chase, he made up six lengths from the last and just got touched off, and then he was brilliant at Aintree and flat out all the way at Punchestown. You do need stamina to win these big two-mile races, which he certainly has, and the two-mile division isn't the strongest. He'll start in the Shloer Chase and then go for the Tingle Creek, and he'll have an entry in the King George, although there's the owner's Sizing John to consider for that race too. At Cheltenham the Ryanair could be the right race for him, but it doesn't have the prestige of the Champion, does it; he'll have two or three entries there but it might just be that he's a flat-out two-miler with the necessary extra stamina.

Gentleman Jon

Info: 9g Beat All - Sudden Spirit
Form: 452353
He’s been on the go all summer, been a bit unlucky – he’s got bad feet and that hasn’t helped him. He loves fast ground, can’t go on the soft, so soon enough he’ll be roughed off for the winter. He won the Badger Ales Trophy last year and his effort at Wincanton on Sunday will have set him up nicely for another go at it.

Ivor's Queen

Info: 8m King's Theatre - Sonnerschien
Form: 342441
We decided not to make the running with her at Wincanton on Sunday and the change in tactics paid off nicely, she did it very well in the end. She has found it hard to win and now she’s got one under her belt we’ll probably run her again before the handicapper has a chance to reassess her.

Kilbricken Storm

Info: 6g Oscar - Kilbricken Leader
Form: 45-13
Made his hurdling debut in a hot race at Exeter last week and surprised me with how well he ran. I thought he'd eventually make up into a nice handicap chaser, so we're quite excited that he's shown a fair bit already and he'll hopefully have a good season over hurdles and then go chasing next autumn.

Kings Walk

Info: 6g King's Theatre - Shuil Sionnach
Form: 8/84163-
Won his novice hurdle last season and it'll be fences for him now – he could share the ride to Wetherby with Cue Card on Saturday. He's been a bit difficult to train, there's always been something up with him, but he's been fine through the summer and autumn and we haven't seen the best of him yet because he's potentially a nice, well-handicapped novice.

Lillington

Info: 5g Westerner - Kind Word
Form: 2333-60
Owned by our club and I promised I’d run him locally, and then dragged them all the way to Fontwell! He didn’t run a bad race there on his chasing debut but it frightened him a bit, so he went back over hurdles for a confidence booster at Wincanton on Sunday and was quite disappointing. He’ll probably run over hurdles again next time.

Lostintranslation

Info: 5g Flemensfirth - Falika
Form: 4-2
I couldn't have been more pleased with him on his hurdling debut, he travelled lovely, went to the front, had the race won, and then just got done on the run-in. He'll improve for that and make a cracking novice hurdler at two or two and a half miles. Cheltenham and Aintree could be on the agenda in the spring, and he's a big strong lad who'll make a lovely three-mile chaser when the time's right.

Mick Thonic

Info: F01-3UP
Form:
He jumps his fences low and fast and usually quite well, but now and again he hits one, which is what happened at Ludlow and at Cheltenham last week. He's out of his novice stage now so will go handicapping over two miles, and might do better at smaller tracks.

Mister Malarky

Info: 4g Malinas - Priscilla
Form: 360-3
I bought him because he's a grandson of Dubacilla, out of a half-sister to Mister Quasimodo who won races for us. He ran perfectly well on his hurdling debut and will be a decent handicapper who might get three miles in time and should win races. He's only a baby and time's on his side.

Morello Royale

Info: 7m King's Theatre - Mystic Cherry
Form: 37200-8
It's near impossible to win a hurdle with her off that rating, so we gave her another try over fences – she fell at the first on her debut last season – but she didn't act on the ground at Worcester. She'll stick with it and there's a 2m7½f beginners' chase at Chepstow on Tuesday where we can claim the 7lb mares' allowance. She can give that sort of thing a go this season.

Muffins For Tea

Info: 7g With The Flow - Countess Point
Form: 562-133
Ran well and jumped well behind Yanworth on his chasing debut, and owing to a change in the rules he won't have his mark raised for finishing 20-odd lengths behind a 160-rated horse, which is very helpful. He can go handicapping now and two and a half miles might suit him best.

Native River

Info: 7g Indian River - Native Mo
Form: 1/21113-
Jarred himself a little bit in the Gold Cup, came back with a bit of ligament trouble, so he's been late coming back in and is just cantering now. The plan is to give him a race over hurdles around Christmas and then go for the Denman Chase at Newbury, which he won last season, before having another try at the Gold Cup. He won the Hennessy and the Welsh National, but the yard was slightly out of form by Cheltenham and he had the run of the race but was beaten only two lengths. If he has an easier time of it through the season he might just win a Gold Cup. People talk about the Grand National but the owners aren't keen, and he'd have top weight or thereabouts, but he'd have a favourite's chance, wouldn't he? He'll have an entry, but the Gold Cup has to come first.

New To This Town

Info: 6g Milan - Jade River
Form: 0/34340-
New to us. He came from Jessica Harrington over the summer after becoming a bit disappointing. He's had a few issues, but in the last fortnight he's picked up a fair bit and has been schooling well. He'll probably start off over hurdles, but it won't be long before he goes novice chasing.

On Demand

Info: 6m Teofilo - Mimisel
Form: 4200-31
She's been doing well but is going up the handicap and that'll stop her soon. There's a 2m4f Listed race for her over hurdles at Wincanton on Badger Ales day, but she'll be going novice chasing before much longer.

Pingshou

Info:
Form:
A big horse who threw a splint a while ago but is back in full work now, although he's a month behind. The idea is to see if he's good enough for the Champion Hurdle, so he'll take in a trial or two, maybe the Fighting Fifth or the International Hurdle, and if we see he's not up to that level he'll go novice chasing instead. He's a good horse who did plenty in what was only his first season. He won a Grade 1 and was placed in another, so he should be able to build on that. I don't think he'd mind soft ground.

Quite By Chance

Info: 8g Midnight Legend - Hop Fair
Form: 246U0P-
He's in good form and he'll go to Ascot on Saturday for the race he won last year, a valuable Listed handicap chase over 2m1f – then he'll go back for the similar £100,000 race in which he was second to Sire De Grugy. I think he'll stay further, maybe three miles or more, and I wouldn't be put off taking him back to Aintree. The fences there weren't the problem in the Topham because he's one of our best jumpers, he just got wiped out by another horse and was pulled up.

Robinsfirth

Info: 8g Flemensfirth - Phardester
Form: 24/21U-4
Missed the second half of last season with a stress fracture, and I was well pleased with him at Cheltenham on Saturday when he was just found out by the last half-mile, having been off for a long time. That will put him right, and considering he was in against experienced handicappers in a very competitive race for the first time it was a very encouraging performance. He's just been plagued with little injuries all his life, so with a clear run through he could win a big handicap.

Rockpoint

Info: 4g Shirocco - Tinagoodnight
Form: 5-4
Was a bit lucky, you have to say, to win the Kauto Star race at Kempton on Boxing Day, but he'd already improved massively for wearing a tongue-tie. His form tailed off at the end of the year because his shins were bothering him a lot, so we've freeze-fired them and he should feel the benefit. He's in good nick and will join Cue Card at Wetherby at the weekend, there's a 2m3f chase for him, and then go for the Ladbrokes Trophy. He's won on heavy ground, but doesn't need it like that.

Shoal Bay

Info: 4g Gold Well - Ring Hill
Form: 1
He was working like a good horse before his debut at Worcester and he did it well in the end. He's a light-framed type who obviously goes well on good ground. We'll look after him and he might have another run in a bumper, but could just as easily go straight over hurdles.

Sizing Codelco

Info: 8g Flemensfirth - La Zingarella
Form: 24011-P
He ran pretty moderately all last season until Aintree and Punchestown where Robbie Power organised him beautifully and he won two big handicaps. But he's not going to win a handicap off his current mark and he isn't good enough for the Gold Cup, so what do we do with him? I don't know what went wrong on his reappearance, maybe the sticky ground, but he'll go to Ascot on Saturday for the big 3m handicap, and we'll keep him busy after that.

Sizing Platinum

Info: 9g Definite Article - Quest Of Passion
Form: 4F07-13
Brother to Pingshou who bounced back to form in the mud at Newton Abbot, when he was a class above his rivals, although he went up 12lb for that and that probably scuppered his chance at Cheltenham last Saturday. Hopefully the handicapper might drop him a pound or two and he'll keep going in decent 2m handicaps, and somewhere along the line will win one.

Sizing Tennessee

Info: 9g Robin Des Champs - Jolivia
Form: 234P-2F
Still a novice over fences but looked as though he had the race in the bag at Cheltenham last week until he came down at the second last. That was his first time at three miles and the trip seemed to suit him, so he might go back to Cheltenham at the next meeting for a similar race.

Slate House

Info: 5g Presenting - Bay Pearl
Form: 5/1-1
Cost plenty at the Cheltenham Festival sale and is a gorgeous horse, works like a real good horse and was mighty impressive on his hurdling debut at Cheltenham on Friday, he made all and quickened right away when they got a bit close to him. He's been a bit of a talking horse but couldn't do any more than he did there, and he'll probably go back to Cheltenham next month, maybe step up to two and a half miles.

Storm Home

Info: 5g King's Theatre - Miss Mayberry
Form: F/2
Was leading when he fell at the last in a point-to-point 18 months ago when the winner was Getabird, who won two bumpers for Willie Mullins last season. He did the splits when he fell, had a bit of back trouble, and we gave him a year off. He ran a decent race on his hurdling debut at Wincanton on Sunday and probably bumped into a good one of Robert Walford’s.

Tempestatefloresco

Info: 9g Storming Home - Empress Dagmar
Form: 112P10
Good old boy who's been in tremendous form this summer, but he's very ground-dependent – he hated the bad ground at Listowel when he was pulled up in the Kerry National – and it looked like one race too many at Cheltenham, he ran well for a long way but emptied right out. He'll be roughed off for the winter and will be back in the spring.

Theatre Guide

Info: 10g King's Theatre - Erintante
Form: 817383-
Brother to Fourth Act. He was only just beaten in the bet365 Gold Cup last season and he was making a noise at the time, so he had a wind operation over the summer and will have a run before going to Newbury for the Ladbrokes Gold Cup, his fourth run in the race. There are plenty of those big staying handicaps he can go for, including the one he won at Cheltenham last December.

Third Intention

Info: 10g King's Theatre - Erintante
Form: 817383-
Brother to Fourth Act. He was only just beaten in the bet365 Gold Cup last season and he was making a noise at the time, so he had a wind operation over the summer and will have a run before going to Newbury for the Ladbrokes Gold Cup, his fourth run in the race. There are plenty of those big staying handicaps he can go for, including the one he won at Cheltenham last December.

Thistlecrack

Info: 9g Kayf Tara - Ardstown
Form: 1/11112-
Everyone knows about his tendon injury – but he's been in the yard since August 1, he's doing fast work now and he's been absolutely fine, taking it all very well. The plan is to run him in the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury at the beginning of December – he won it two years ago – and then go on to the King George. Last year, when he won the World Hurdle and the King George he was absolutely brilliant, wasn't he, one of the best horses I've ever seen, let alone trained. We'll treat him the way he deserves to be treated, and I'm asking myself whether he needs to have a run between Kempton and the Gold Cup, whether he needs to go back to Cheltenham for the Cotswold Chase. If I think it'd give him a better chance in the Gold Cup to go straight there, that's what he'll do. There's Aintree and Punchestown for later on.

Ultragold

Info: 9g Kapgarde - Hot D'Or
Form: B6791-3
When we bought him from France we thought we were buying a staying chaser, but we couldn't get a win out of him until he came back to two miles – and now he looks as though he's a three-miler again after winning the Topham and staying on strongly at Chepstow last time. We know he likes the big Aintree fences so the plan is to try to win the Becher Chase – he could go straight there. The Grand National is a possibility too – that's what he was originally bought for – now that he looks more like a stayer.

Valhalla

Info: 7g Scorpion - Fox Theatre
Form: P168-33
The trip was too far for him at Stratford on his reappearance and he might have just needed the run, but when he dropped back to two miles at Ludlow last week he was flat out all the way, could never hold a position. He’ll go back up in trip next time in another novice handicap chase.

Viconte De Noyer

Info: 8g Martaline - Zouk Wood
Form: 10PP2-7
He won first time out for us but was pretty moderate after that until running a good race at Punchestown. I don’t know what the problem was, but hopefully it’s behind him. He was back up in trip at Cheltenham on Saturday and travelled beautifully, but didn’t get up the hill – he’d had a racecourse gallop, so it wasn’t fitness. He’ll drop back to two and a half miles again and probably go back to Cheltenham next month.

Waterloo Warrior

Info: 5g Kalanisi - Vindonissa
Form: 65P2-42
Big, athletic horse who has yet to get off the mark – he was all over the show at Newton Abbot first time, but turned in a better performance at Exeter last week where Robbie Power did a good job and he jumped beautifully. There's no need to rush him, he'll stay over hurdles this season and be a chaser next year.

West Approach

Info: 7g Westerner - Ardstown
Form: 5U3PP-1
Thistlecrack's half-brother, and he's a very good horse too. We campaigned him too much and too highly over hurdles last season, and by the end of the season he'd had enough. Anyway, he jumped very nicely on his chasing debut at Ffos Las, appreciated the soft ground, stayed on well. He'll go back up to three miles now and will probably run at Cheltenham's next meeting unless we take him somewhere a little more out of the limelight. Then we'll think about the Kauto Star at Kempton on Boxing Day and then the RSA Chase. That's the sort of class he is.

White Moon

Info: 5g Sholokhov - Westalin
Form: 5F-11
Beautiful horse to look at. It's hard to know what he beat at Wincanton on his hurdling debut, but the manner in which he did it was nice, very promising. He looked comfortable at 2m5f, will surely stay further amd will stay over hurdles now. We'll see how high he can go, and next season he'll be a lovely novice chaser.

Wizards Bridge

Info: 8g Alflora - Island Hopper
Form: 361P6-1
Had a touch of sore shins last season but did it nicely in a little race at Fontwell on his reappearance and there's a handicap chase at the next Exeter meeting for him. He's not slow and he'll win more races at his level.