Irish bred contingent show there’s life after Cue Card in Colin Tizzard Yard

Irish bred contingent show there’s life after Cue Card in Colin Tizzard Yard



Two of this year’s races on Gold Cup day at the Cheltenham Festival went the way of Venn Farm handler Colin Tizzard. That valuable double came just 24 hours after we saw hugely popular stable flagbearer Cue Card on a racecourse for the last time.

Team Tizzard cannot afford to stand still. There’s no doubting Card Card made a huge contribution in terms of putting the yard on the map, but now the torch has been passed to some Irish bred hopes for the new season.

Chief among those looking to take up the mantle are the 2018 Festival heroes Kilbricken Storm, who outran massive odds of 33/1 to land the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle, and Native River. The latter was a game winner that virtually made all in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

It is 6/1 about Native River retaining his crown in the blue riband event of chasing in the horse racing betting odds today at 888. That puts him joint-favourite alongside last season’s runner-up Might Bite and the impressive RSA Chase winner Presenting Percy – an Irish raider that has done plenty to advertise Pat Kelly’s training credentials to a wider audience already.



Having triumphed in the old Hennessy Gold Cup, Welsh Grand National and the Cheltenham Gold Cup already, Native River is arguably well on the way to emulating Cue Card, who won eight Grade 1s over fences including the Haydock Lancashire Chase three times, the Ascot Chase twice and the King George VI Chase at Kempton.


Slate House, Vision Des Flos part of “exciting bunch” for novice chases


Joe Tizzard is assistant trainer to his father and had plenty to say about the yard’s future prospects at an open day at Venn Farm during the UK’s August Bank Holiday weekend.

“We’ve got a big team this year and a really great bunch of novice chasers,” Tizzard junior told the Racing Post. “Slate House, White Moon, Vision Des Flos, Lostintranslation and Kilbricken Storm are five top-class novices to look forward to… they’re our most exciting bunch this season. They were bought to be chasers and hopefully they’ll improve a lot.”

There’s a common theme among these types picked out by Team Tizzard. They are all winners of races in Ireland – either point to points or National Hunt flat races – and many were bought at sales off the back of such exploits, most notably 2017 Goffs Land Rover Bumper winner Vision Des Flos.

He and other Tizzard inmates come with hefty price tags after going through horse auctions and, while many of those namechecked by Joe have yet to justify them, they were purchased more for their potential over fences than what has been achieved in the meantime when hurdling.

Kilbricken Storm would seem to have the brightest future if replicating his staying hurdles exploits over fences, though that comes with the caveat of favourable conditions coming up again in the spring. Cheltenham Festival going was on the heavy side this past season, but it’s becoming increasingly rare to encounter bottomless ground in recent years.