Joe Tizzard is looking forward to sending point-to-point recruit The Big Breakaway to the upcoming Cheltenham Festival where he will come up against another star former pointer Monkfish in the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase.
A Quakerstown point winner for Donnchadh Doyle, the Getaway gelding has already won over fences at Cheltenham this season, and returns to Prestbury Park following his fine second in a Grade 1 at Kempton over Christmas.
“We think he is a very talented horse. Funnily last year he finished fourth (in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle), but didn’t travel very well. This year he came out first time and was impressive (in a novices’ chase in November).
“In the back of our minds, we were very keen to get some racing experience into him and felt we wanted to get to Cheltenham with three or four runs under our belts. We also wanted to get the experience in ahead of next year because he is going to be in the big league.
“We then went to Exeter and it backfired as he was left to make all his own running and dossed along being outsprinted from the last. We then went to the Kauto Star at Kempton where we had to drop him in and come back to basics. Dan’s horse (Shan Blue) jumped and galloped and got a march on him.
“At Kempton his jumping got found out over the last four or five fences. But that Kempton run was what we were looking for in between and was hopefully the making of the horse. We learnt more there and this time we can ride him without making the running.
“Cheltenham should also suit him better. He hasn’t done an awful lot wrong and has won a chase around Cheltenham, finished second in a Grade One over fences and is a horse that is maturing over time. I am sure his time will come and he is going to win or be competitive in these big races.”
The Big Breakaway looks set to be joined in that Grade 1 contest by his stable mate and fellow point-to-point export Fiddlerontheroof
“He was a two-mile novice hurdle winner, albeit on heavy ground around Sandown and he just probably outstayed everything. He has not done a lot wrong,” added Tizzard.
“He has been second four times on the bounce in great company and stepping him up to three miles last time showed us he certainly stays.
“He ran in three point to points, won his bumper and is a horse we think will be better the further he goes. He has some high-class form. I don’t think he or The Big Breakaway are particularly ground dependant.”