Paul Nicholls and Nicky Henderson have been the dominant forces in Britain for the past 10 years. However, Colin Tizzard, aided by his son Joe, have quickly announced themselves as one of the powerhouses of British racing.
Tizzard’s march up the training hierarchy has been phenomenal, so much so that he is seriously considered as a contender to be champion trainer this season. Not bad for a man who used to see himself first-and-foremost as a dairy farmer.
The stellar names associated with the Tizzard stable trip off the tongue like a who’s who of jump racing: Cue Card, Thistlecrack, Native River, Finian’s Oscar, Fox Norton, Royal Vacation, Alary and many, many more.
That firepower propelled Tizzard past £2,000,000 in prize-money in Britain for the first time last season, more than £500,000 more than yard had accumulated the previous season when he had smashed all of his previous win and prize-money records. You would even have made a near £9 profit if you had put £1 on every runner from the yard in 2016-17.
Despite this, the feeling is Tizzard, ably supported by his ex-jockey son Joe, is only just getting started. The influx of talent from owner Alan Potts has opened up even more opportunities for the yard, while Thistlecrack’s brilliant novice season was cut short by injury.
Cue Card, the winner of eight Grade 1s to date, returns for more this season while the likes of Finian’s Oscar and Fox Norton have got jumps fans salivating about what might be in store over the winter and spring months.
And it is not just top-quality horses the Tizzards are associated with. The likes of Coral ambassador Tom Scudamore, Paddy Brennan and Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning riders Robbie Power and Bryan Cooper will be getting the leg up as the season continues. Also keep an eye out for when conditional champion Harry Cobden rides for the yard.
An upgrading of facilities has also taken place at Tizzard’s Venn Farm in Dorset over the last couple of years with a new barn built up on the hill, offering better ventilation and comfort for his equine superstars than the converted cow sheds where they had previously been housed.
Tizzard was himself a keen point-to-point jockey as a young man and it is with chasers the yard is increasingly making its mark. His strike-rate in chases (15 per cent) is higher than in hurdle and National Hunt flat races, while his record at the highest level is also impressive.
Over the last five seasons he has operated at a near 20 per cent strike-rate in graded and Listed contests, and you would be well in profit if you backed all his runners in the top contests.
In Colin Tizzard, the Coral Champions Club have a trainer with a proven track record of success and who is ambitious and driven on to greater success by the hungry team around him.
His ability to source horses, train them to reach their peak and place them to best effect on the course means it is likely to be a profitable association for both owner and trainer.