Colin Tizzard Likely to Bide His Time with Native River and Thistlecrack
The Tizzard yard is certainly not short of talent and the stable is gearing up for the possibility of another successful jumps season. Thistlecrack and Native River are just two of the returning stable stars and both look set to be eased back into action later this year.
Source: Cheltenham Festival via Twitter
Thistlecrack boasts a superb record and has an 80% strike rate in chases (four from five) but his trainer has hinted that his seasonal return may come over hurdles. The nine-year-old hasn’t been seen since finishing behind the late Many Clouds in the Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham in January but has already been chalked up as early favourite to retain his crown in the King George at Kempton on Boxing Day. Might Bite and the Jessica Harrington trained Sizing John are also prominent in the market.
Unfortunately, a tendon problem saw the season end prematurely for the Tizzard charge but he is believed to be working well at the trainer’s Dorset base and many punters are anticipating an explosive racecourse return in the near future.
He’s taken to larger obstacles fantastically after embarking upon a decent hurdle career, which saw him win eight of eleven starts including the RyanAir World Hurdle. April 2016 was the last time that Thistlecrack was seen over the smaller obstacles. Colin Tizzard has previously declared the nine-year-old as “one of the best horses I’ve ever trained”, but admitted it has been a frustrating year.
Source: Racing UK via Twitter
The Sherborne-based trainer had his most profitable season last year, breaking the £2million barrier in prize money for the first time and admitted a tilt at the trainers’ title is not out of the question. Eight Grade One wins made it an unforgettable season for the yard and with the likes of Thistlecrack returning from injury plus the presence of Cue Card, Finians Oscar and Native River, there is plenty to be optimistic about.
The latter is expected to have another successful season and has been priced up as one of the early ante-post favourites for the 2018 Grand National. The seven-year-old is unlikely to be seen before Christmas, however, but will be fancied for a tilt at both the iconic Aintree contest as well as the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Native River has won six of 11 starts in Chases and is likely to be targeted at the Denman Chase which takes place at the beginning of February. Native River took 20% of the votes in the Racing Post’s poll of long-range fancies for the 2018 Grand National and sites such as https://www.grandnational.fans/ offer ante-post bettors details of a range of free bets available to use on the world-famous steeplechase in April.
Colin Tizzard is aiming to build upon a hugely successful 12 months but he must ensure he eases his stable stars back into action slowly following time away from the racecourse. The yard is confident of another successful campaign and both Thistlecrack and Native River look set to thrill National Hunt fans once again.