Joe Tizzard has hinted that he is perhaps leaning towards a tilt at next month’s Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury with the exciting Fiddlerontheroof (7-2), who showed plenty of heart to make a winning reappearance in the Listed Colin Parker Memorial Intermediate Chase at Carlisle today.
The seven year old showed some strong form as a novice chaser last year, producing a fine effort to chase home Monkfish in the Grade One Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival and he was made to work hard here by Pay The Piper, getting on top in the closing stages for a length and a quarter success.
It’s a second success in three years for the owners (Paul Taylor and Richard O’Dwyer), who won this race with Lostintranslation in 2019 before going on to win the following month’s Betfair Chase at Haydock Park. And while the temptation is there to follow the same route with the son of Stowaway, Tizzard revealed that he could exploit Fiddlerontheroof’s mark of 148 in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury next month.
He said: “I’m chuffed to bits with him. He got placed behind good horses all of last season and we rate him really highly, so we’ve got a decision where to go next.
“Our horses have been in good nick and running well and I thought it was a cracking renewal. He took on the best last year and he is a good horse. It was competitive on paper and he has got a lovely way about him in that he doesn’t waste any energy and he stuck it out really nicely.
“He’s entered in the Ladbrokes Trophy and there’s the Betfair Chase as well so we’ll have a chat about it. He’s on 148 so we may want to take advantage of his mark. I know what the boys will be thinking because we did this with Lostintranslation and went to Haydock, but it’s something we’ll think about over the next few days.
“Lostintranslation was odds-on and this horse had a proper race, there’s no doubt about it, but there’s a month or so until the Ladbrokes Trophy and three weeks until the Betfair Chase, so it’s something to think about.”
When asked about the situation around the changing of the license at Venn Farm, where he is officially assistant trainer to his father Colin, Tizzard added: “I’m all qualified now, it just takes six to eight weeks to do the application and I’m not sure we want to go back to zero in December, so we may wait until May. It makes no difference at home and the set-up is exactly the same – the old man is there every morning and nothing is changing.”
Brendan Powell was on board for the Listed success today and he said: “He stuck it out well after jumping and travelling well into the home straight and knuckled down when he needed to. We went a nice even gallop and for a small field it was a decent one. We came here today to set him up nicely for the season and it’s a nice bonus when they win like that.
“It’s been great back riding for my old boss again and the horses are running well. I think he’ll be fine in the Ladbrokes Trophy, he’s got plenty of experience and we’ll make a plan after seeing how he comes out of this – I’ll leave that with Joe and Colin.”
Runner-up Pay The Piper (6-1) was having only his third start over fences for the Ann Hamilton team when just touched off in second and his jockey Danny McMenamin commented: “It was a brilliant run and he did everything right, a nice horse just finished in front of us. I’d hope there’d be a nice race in him soon.”