Colin Tizzard: Buckhorn Tom's Exeter win was as much fun as Cheltenham
Colin and Joe Tizzard were back down to earth at Exeter yesterday with their first winner since last week’s memorable Cheltenham Festival double.
The Dorset father and son combination celebrated their biggest success so far when Cue Card strode clear in the Ryanair Chase, and trainer Colin also saddled up Brendan Powell junior to take the JLT Specialty Handicap Chase with Golden Chieftain.
The Carter Dawes Financial Planners 10th Anniversary Handicap Hurdle on a wet afternoon at Haldon Hill was not quite such an illustrious affair but Buckhorn Tom (2-1) showed plenty of application to lose his maiden tag.
Allowed a clear lead, he was joined by the 6-4 favourite Umberto D’Olivate over the final three flights but seemed to be ignited by having company and went ahead again to collect by a length and a quarter.
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“We ran him over two and a half but we thought this track suited so we came back to two,” said Tizzard senior.
“I was surprised to see him jump off, but he idled and when the other one passed him, he stayed on.
“All the owners (The Buckhorn Racing Team) are ecstatic, so it was just as fun as Cheltenham, really.
“I imagine he’ll be out again in a fortnight if the ground hasn’t gone too quick.”
Conditional jockey Ciaran McKee has found a bit of a niche with trainer John O’Shea and is hoping to kick on from a decent week.
His mount My Viking Bay (4-1) had struggled in novice and handicap event, found her level to emerge a defiant winner of the Watch Racing UK On Sky 432 Novices’ Selling Hurdle.
“That’s my third winner so far, and my second within a week. Things are picking up as I rode my first winner in a bumper at Worcester about three years ago,” McKee told Racing UK.
“She fell last time and John said she might be a bit starey but she was foot-perfect.
“You had to find the right race for her, and this was the right one today.”
Paul Nicholls’ Jump City (6-5) leaped markedly to the right during sections of the Kip Kealey Novices’ Chase but had enough ability to see off even-money favourite Dare Me, whose own fencing disintegrated in the home straight.
Wayward Frolic (15-2) had terribly unprepossessing form figures but jumped for fun when reunited with his old point-to-pointing rider Lizzie Kelly to collect the Bet & Watch With Racing UK’s App Novices’ Handicap Chase by 20 lengths.
The representative of trainer Nick Williams was called to the stewards and explained the gelding had benefited from a long break and this race was a drop in class.
Her explanation was forwarded to the British Horseracing Authority.
Kelly, who is the daughter of Williams’ wife Jane, said: “I won on him twice in point-to-points and I couldn’t understand why he hadn’t run well under Rules. When I rode him, I thought he was a savage horse.
“I almost wanted to find out what the problem was. I suppose we’ve had him since he was a yearling and I know him inside out, so perhaps that just helped.”
A farcically-run Diamond Edge Open Hunters’ Chase saw 4-6 favourite Robin Will brought through very steadily by polished amateur Josh Guerriero to eventually canter all over his three rivals.
Andrew Thornton galvanised Brunette’sonly (12-1) for Seamus Mullins in the Visit The Desert Orchid Restaurant Novices’ Handicap Hurdle.