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Fiddlerontheroof 16-1 for Marsh after tough chasing win as Tizzards hit form

Fiddlerontheroof: off the mark over fencesCredit: Alan Crowhurst

The Colin Tizzard team will head into this week's Cheltenham November meeting full of confidence after leading novice chase prospect Fiddlerontheroof bounced back to his Grade 1-winning best to form part of a double on the card at Exeter on Wednesday.

Last season's Tolworth winner was taking on the classy Sporting John in a red-hot 2m3f beginners' chase and jumped boldly out in front.

On the turn for home, and with that opponent struggling, Fiddlerontheroof then faced a gruelling battle in the straight with Silver Hallmark but narrowly held on to get off the mark over fences.

Watch Fiddlerontheroof get off the mark over fences

Fiddlerontheroof is now as short as 16-1 for the Marsh Novices' Chase, and will look to further enhance his Festival claims with the Dipper Novices' Chase at Cheltenham on New Year's Day pencilled in as a target.

Joe Tizzard, son and assistant to trainer Colin, said: "That was great. He probably wants softer ground but it was a lovely performance and good to see him get his head in front.

"He jumped really well, he'd run in point-to-points and has always schooled well. I quite liked how he had a bit of a battle and got the better of his rival to win it – that should do him the world of good."

He added: "I should imagine we'll try and get him out again in December and then the first real big target is the Dipper."

Fergal O'Brien was thrilled after a "tremendous performance" by runner-up Silver Hallmark, while Philip Hobbs was unsure why 10-11 favourite Sporting John failed to fire.

Hobbs said: "He appears to be absolutely fine. He jumped and travelled very well but didn't get home for whatever reason."

The Tizzard team are set to be strongly represented at Cheltenham's three-day meeting beginning Friday, and the tough novice handicap chase success of Ofalltheginjoints – in addition to Oscar Elite's Monday win at Chepstow – signals the stable is in top form after a slow start to the season.

"The horses are definitely coming [to form] now which is good to see and helps everybody," Tizzard added.

"Ofalltheginjoints had a good first run at Aintree and had come on for it so we were expecting him to run well. He learnt a lot today, he settled nicely, came there and just idled a bit in front. He's going in the right direction."

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James StevensWest Country correspondent

Published on 11 November 2020inReports

Last updated 20:31, 11 November 2020