Colin Tizzard to hand over his training license to son Joe later this year

By Graham Clark

Colin Tizzard believes The Big Breakaway could be his best shot at winning at what is expected to be his last Cheltenham Festival as a coach next week.

Speaking in Wincanton today, the Dorset coach virtually confirmed that the Festival ™ supporting WellChild next week will likely be his last as a Chartered Manager, before handing over the reins of Venn Farm to his son and assistant Joe .

Tizzard explained, “Joe will be licensed soon. I don’t like Colin and Joe. I am 65 years old. It won’t change a thing – I’m going to argue with him again every morning! He deserves to continue as you don’t want too late in life.

“He’s doing a good job and his (retirement) was always going to be 65. I have other things that I wouldn’t mind doing. I don’t want to wake up every morning worrying about horses all the time.

“I might want to take my wife to New Zealand and places like this that I haven’t been able to do because I’ve been riding horses for the past 25 years.

“As soon as he has done his modules (he will be in license). It should be by next season. There is plenty of time during the summer to do this. There is nothing to fix, just change a name. It won’t change one iota as Joe is doing more and more. He deserves to have his name at the top.

Joe Tizzard is set to succeed his father Colin later this year

Before the proposed changing of the guard, Tizzard hopes The great escape, who finished fourth at the Ballymore Novices ‘Hurdle at the Festival last year, can get his career back on track with two wins in as many closing starts at Cheltenham in the three-mile Grade One Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase.

When asked who he considered his best chance at winning next week, he added: “The Big Breakaway. He’s a good horse. He finished fourth at the Ballymore last year when he didn’t. “Haven’t traveled very well, but he’s in great shape right now. With a flawless run, he’ll be there or so.”

“Harry Cobden formed The Big Breakaway and Lostintranslation yesterday morning. His first run of the season at Cheltenham, I don’t know what he beat but he got away from it.

“The second run we had these ideas to teach him how to be a racehorse and sit behind, but they went too slow and he sat there and waited. I don’t think he was quite right then, but he is now. Nothing can stay with him galloping.

Tizzard believes the winner of the Cheltenham Gold Cup 2018 Native river had perfect preparation before trying to become only the second horse behind the mighty Kauto Star to successfully win the Blue Ribbon Award.

He said: “He’s won a Gold Cup, finished third and fourth in a Gold Cup and second in a National Hunt Chase, so he loves Cheltenham. Half of them were good to soft, so he’s still in good form there.

“It goes through mud like nothing else. He is 11 years old and we understand that, but he had excellent preparation. He went to Aintree and went to the Cotswolds. He is in good shape. We are delighted that he is the top rated hunter in England.

“Handicappers don’t give a horse that grade just to be nice, that’s what it is. If he’s in the form he is this week, Richard Johnson will credit them.

“If they go faster than him, they normally don’t win the race. In the past they have trusted him and they are blown away doing this and I think everyone realizes that. Native River, you can shoot three and a quarter miles, but the rest of them can’t. He blew Frodo away at Aintree this season when there were only nine fences.

The Milborne port manager also believes last year’s Gold Cup Lost in translation is on much better terms with himself after a recent outing in the sophomore Denman Chase in Newbury.

He said: “He came in his coat and he was good at the gallop this morning. He needs to be tested in the hottest race of the year and he might not be good enough, but we had a better run this season than last season.

“He was third last season and he had half a chance last season. For a big, heavy horse, he likes good soil. I think he’s in good shape and he’s in the best shape he’s been this season on our gallops but it doesn’t always end on the track. We didn’t think Newbury was much better than Haydock, but he’s much better now.

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