Elegant Escape announces himself another potential star for Tizzard
You cannot keep a good man down for long, and a day after the disappointment of Thistlecrack finishing down the field on his seasonal reappearance at the track Colin Tizzard was back in the winner's enclosure courtesy of Elegant Escape, who provided him with a follow-up victory in the Grade 2 novice chase his stable star won 12 months ago.
In winning the race now named after seven-time champion jump jockey John Francome, Elegant Escape earned a quote of 25-1 with BoyleSports and Paddy Power for the RSA Novices' Chase at the Cheltenham Festival after ending the hot run of Black Corton and Bryony Frost, who had won their last five on the trot.
Tizzard also won the contest two years ago with Native River, who went on to add what was the Hennessy Gold Cup and Welsh Grand National to his CV and the trainer has some fancy things in mind for John Romans' five-year-old.
"He's a beautiful young horse and only a five-year-old, the rest were older," said Tizzard, whose winner may have been helped by the departure of Fountains Windfall three out.
"It was a good performance and he's a lovely, big staying chaser. I did think one yesterday [Thistlecrack] was a little short of work in the parade ring, but I thought this one looked immaculate – the best he's ever looked. I suppose there's a very good chance he'll have an entry in the Kauto Star Novices' Chase at Kempton over Christmas – there's no reason not to."
Frost's consolation on Old Guard
There was some consolation for Frost and Black Corton's connections as Old Guard – trained by Paul Nicholls and owned by the Brooks and Stewart families and TV presenter Jeremy Kyle – struck in the 2m4½f handicap hurdle.
Frost, who also finished second on Warriors Tale, said: "That's a bit better! The two seconds have given me everything and a little bit of luck is what you need. This little horse's confidence is building, building and building, who knows what he is? We all love this horse at home and he's a dude."
Part-owner Andy Stewart suggested Old Guard could develop into Stayers' Hurdle horse.
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