Tizzard has good Intention for Newbury contest
NEWBURY stages a very interesting novice chase this afternoon when Third Intention -- conqueror of Rebel Fitz at Cheltenham -- bids to return to winning ways.
Fresh from his Haydock exploits with the impressive Cue Card, trainer Colin Tizzard is hoping Third Intention can show the way home in the RSA Worcester Novices' Chase despite lumbering top-weight.
The six-year-old floored Rebel Fitz in a match at Cheltenham last month, but was then only third to Wonderful Charm at Wincanton. Both those races were over shorter than this three miles, a trip at which Third Intention ran Dynaste to six lengths at Aintree in April, and Tizzard believes the return to a longer distance will be in his favour.
"I think three miles around Newbury will be right up his street," said the Dorset handler. "The ground will be good and if he turns up on his A-game he should have a really good chance."
Chief danger to the Tizzard hope looks to be the Paul Nicholls-trained Just A Par, which was slightly disappointing on his seasonal debut when finishing runner-up to Shotgun Paddy at Chepstow.
A former point-to-point winner on these shores, the six-year-old won a Punchestown maiden hurdle before changing hands for £260,000 last November. Then, after the gelding finished second to Many Clouds at Exeter in February, Nicholls opted to skip Cheltenham in favour of Aintree's Grand National meeting. While he finished some eight lengths behind At Fishers Cross, that was a top-class effort on what was a massive step up in grade.
That Daryl Jacob's mount failed to make a winning bow over the larger obstacles shouldn't detract from his chances as the master of Ditcheat has made no secret of the fact some of his runners have needed an outing.
Along with Third Intention, the presence of Dr Richard Newland's promising ex-pointer Ardkilly Witness makes this a highly informative contest and whichever horse comes out on top can be looked upon as a realistic candidate Cheltenham's RSA in March.
Later on the card, last season's Neptune Hurdle fourth Chatterbox returns to action in the Intermediate Hurdle, an event better known as the Gerry Feilden. Nicky Henderson's five-year-old should be good enough to complete a double for Barry Geraghty, who has a classic 'steering job' aboard Volnay De Thaix in the opener.
Meanwhile, Jamie Codd is an eyecatching booking for Top Dancer in the amateur riders' handicap chase.