Young field includes strong amount of unraced talent
THE array of young talent within Colin Tizzard's yard has never been greater. Of the 70 horses at Milborne Port, 22 are unraced three and four-year-olds.
One who has made the headlines already on the course and in the sales ring is Midnight Thunder, six-length winner of his solitary Irish point-to-point in March. The four-year-old son of Beneficial subsequently changed hands for £215,000 at Brightwells Cheltenham Sale to a three-pronged syndicate of Tizzard's major players: Garth Broom, John Romans and Terry Warner.
Tizzard said: "It was a hefty price tag but he is just a gorgeous horse. He moves beautifully, has a lovely nature and there are no negatives about him. He'll start in a bumper at the first Cheltenham meeting in October."
Tizzard took a leaf out of the Paul Nicholls book by casting his net across the Channel this summer for a ready-made product and came home with Ultragold, five-year-old winner of a chase over 2m6f at Auteuil in April, and now owned by the aforementioned big three.
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"He is out of a sister to First Gold, the triple Grade One chase winner. He is a lovely type who will go handicap chasing over 3m – Grand National in the back of our minds one day."
Other Venn Farm young bucks to watch for with words from the trainer:
DARK DESIREWon a Taunton bumper in February on heavy ground but hasn't run since. Had a hard race that day and I'm sure he hated every yard. He's come back like a machine and will have another bumper.
FIFEFOURFORFARFIVEOwned by football fanatic Tom Chadney. Big, strong-looking Flemensfirth gelding who could be anything.
GENTLEMAN JONHighly impressive Fontwell bumper winner. Will go straight over hurdles on winter ground.
ROBINSFIRTHBig four-year-old and our top-rated bumper horse last season who won his first start at Wincanton and might go for one of the bigger bumpers.
SPENDING TIMEA good horse last season who had niggling problems but looking a lot stronger now. Exciting prospect out of listed hurdles winner Karello Bay.
THIRD ACTKing's Theatre gelding, third on his only bumper at Newton Abbot after nearly being brought down. Certain to win next time.
ZANSTRABy up-and-coming NH stallion Morozov and related to Golden Chieftain. Currently our earliest three-year-old. Very forward and seems to do everything easily. He'll start in a bumper before Christmas.