Team Tizzard relishing Grand National challenge with The Dutchman

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© 2012 Daily Sport Limited
Fresh from landing the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup with Native River, Joe Tizzard, assistant trainer to his father Colin, is hoping for further big-race success with The Dutchman (10st 10lb), who is set to line up in the £1-million Randox Health Grand National at Aintree on Saturday, April 14.
 
A total of 73 entries went forward the 171st running of the Randox Health Grand National following the second scratchings’ deadline on March 20.
 
Formerly trained by Berwickshire handler Sandy Thomson, The Dutchman was second to subsequent G1 Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle Sam Spinner on his debut for the Tizzard team in a G3 handicap hurdle over just shy of three miles at Haydock in November.
 
Sixth over hurdles at Cheltenham in December, the eight-year-old son of King’s Theatre was an impressive 13-length winner of the G2 Peter Marsh Chase over an extended three miles and a furlong at Haydock in January on heavy ground.
 
He was pulled before the 11th fence behind Yala Enki in the G3 Betfred Grand National Trial at Haydock on February 17, after breaking a blood vessel during the extended three mile and four and a half-furlong event, but is on course to tackle the world’s greatest and richest chase at Aintree on April 14.
 
The Dutchman is a 33/1 shot with Betway, official betting partner of the Randox Health Grand National Festival.
 
Joe Tizzard said: “The Dutchman is in good form. He broke a blood vessel in the Grand National Trial last time and it was a disappointing performance given the favourable conditions.
 
“He had won impressively on heavy ground in the Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock the time before, but he never seemed to be travelling last time out, despite his record in heavy ground.
 
“We have been easy on him since Haydock and he seems to be really well in himself at the moment.
 
“It wasn’t ideal what happened, but he’s had seven or eight weeks off and the Grand National is definitely the plan with him.
 
“I think the Grand National should suit. He won nicely in the Peter Marsh over a longer trip and he jumped nicely that day. He’s a nice horse who is improving with racing.
 
“We are hopeful that he will stay and he also jumps very well, which is always important for a test like Aintree.
 
“I think he has a fair weight in the Grand National and we have thought about the race for a while.
 
“We haven’t made any decision on jockeys or anything, but the plan is definitely to run.
 
“We’re hoping the broken blood vessel was just a one off with The Dutchman and we’ve done everything we can to ensure that he is fully fit after that. It’ll be interesting to see what happens in the Grand National as he went up 13lb for that.
 
“The Dutchman will head to David Pipe’s one morning to school over the Grand National fences three and that’ll be good enough.”
 
If The Dutchman is successful at Aintree on April 14, Colin Tizzard would join an elite group of trainers to have saddled the winners of both the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup and Randox Health Grand National in the same season.
 
The trio to have achieved the feat so far are Basil Briscoe, who won both races with the great Golden Miller in 1934, Vincent O’Brien, who triumphed at Cheltenham with Knock Hard and at Aintree with Early Mist in 1953 and, most recently, Fred Rimell.
 
Rimell was successful at Aintree with Rag Trade in 1976, having taken the Cheltenham Gold Cup earlier in the season with Royal Frolic.
 
Among the Randox Health Grand National entries going forward is the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Blaklion (11st 9lb), who has had a minor wind operation since his last outing. Fourth in the race last year, Blaklion heads the betting along with the Willie Mullins-trained Total Recall (11st 4lb), who was staying-on when falling three fences from home in the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup. The pair are 10/1 joint-favourites with Betway.
 
Gordon Elliott’s Causes Of Causes (11st 1lb, 14/1), Kim Bailey’s The Last Samuri (11st 7lb, 16/1), top-weight Minella Rocco (Jonjo O’Neill, 11st 10lb, 16/1) and Gold Present (Nicky Henderson, 11st, 20/1) are some of the other remaining entries towards the top of the market.
 
A maximum of 40 runners can line up at 5.15pm on Saturday, April 14 for the 2018 Randox Health Grand National over 30 fences and four and a quarter miles.
 
The five-day acceptance stage for the Randox Health Grand National is at noon on Monday, April 9. The final declaration stage is at 10.00am on Thursday, April 12.
 
The final field of 40, plus a maximum of four reserves, will be known shortly after this time. Reserves come into the race if there are any withdrawals among the 40 declared runners prior to 1.00pm on Friday, April 13.
 
The 2018 Randox Health Grand National Festival at Aintree runs from Thursday, April 12 to Saturday, April 14.
 
Weights will be revealed this coming Wednesday, March 28, for the £140,000 G3 Randox Health Topham Chase which takes place over two miles and five furlongs of the Grand National course on Ladies Day, Friday, April 13.
 
Colin Tizzard, based on the Dorset/Somerset border landed the 2017 Randox Health Topham Chase with Ultragold, who defied his 50/1 odds to come home the length winner under Harry Cobden.
 
Ultragold (25/1 with Betway) is among the 79 entries for the 2018 renewal, along with stable companions Gentleman Jon (33/1), Shanahan’s Turn (33/1), Sizing Granite (33/1), and Sizing Tennessee (16/1).
 
Joe Tizzard continued: “We have plenty of options in the Topham with last year’s winner Ultragold, Sizing Granite, Sizing Tennessee, Gentleman Jon and Shanahan’s Turn.
 
“They all seem to be in good form and Ultragold’s success in the race last year will help as he has proven experience over the obstacles.”
 
The 2018 Randox Health Grand National – 
odds from official betting partner Betway
10/1 Total Recall, Blaklion
14/1 Tiger Roll
16/1 The Last Samuri, Anibale Fly, Cause Of Causes, Minella Rocco
20/1 Bellshill, Gold Present
25/1 Vicente, Rathvinden, Seeyouatmidnight                 
33/1 The Dutchman, Vieux Lion Rouge, Regal Encore, Gas Line Boy, Pleasant Company, Ucello Conti
40/1 I Just Know, Milansbar, Vintage Clouds, Warriors Tale, Valseur Lido, Saint Are, Shantou Flyer, Raz De Maree
50/1 Chase The Spud, Pendra, Acapella Bourgeois, Lord Windermere, Alpha Des Obeaux, Go Conquer, As De Mee, Final Nudge, Baie Des Iles, Delusionofgrandeur, Bless The Wings, Buywise, Childrens List, A Genie In Abottle, Carlingford Lough
66/1 Thunder And Roses, The Young Master, Walk In The Mill, Cogry, Braqueur d’Or, Bonny Kate, Splash Of Ginge, Double Ross, Road To Riches, Perfect Candidate, Captain Redbeard
80/1 Minella Daddy, General Principle
100/1 Virgilio, Mysteree, Out Sam, Krackatoa King, Beeves, Knock House, Maggio, Alfie Spinner, Relentless Dreamer, Vic De Touzaine, Houblon Des Obeaux, Henri Parry Morgan, Wounded Warrior, Goodtoknow, Rogue Angel, Phil’s Magic, Sir Mangan, Tenor Nivernais, Dancing Shadow
Each-Way: 1/4 odds – 1, 2, 3, 4

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