Retirement is on the horizon for English trainer Colin Tizzard. That’s right, after over 20 years as a professional National Hunt trainer, the 65-year-old will be calling it a day at the end of this season and passing his license onto his son Joe.
Tizzard has won just about everything there is to win in the sport of horse racing, including two King George VI Chases and the Cheltenham Gold Cup. However, he hasn’t been able to triumph in the Grand National, and a final crack at the race on April 10th lies in the hoofs of Mister Malarky, who is a 25/1 shot.
So, as the esteemed trainer gears up for one last hurrah at the Grand National Festival at Aintree, read on as we take a look back at some of the best horse racing results from his glittering career.
2018: Cheltenham Gold Cup
Where better to start than with the Cheltenham Gold Cup? It is every trainer’s dream to win the three-mile, two-and-a-half-furlong race, and in 2018 it became a reality for Tizzard. Native River was the third favourite at 5/1 behind Might Bite (4/1F) and Our Duke (9/2). However, it was a fantastic run from the then eight-year-old and Richard Johnson in the saddle as they lead from start to finish before recording a resounding four-and-a-half-length win over the market leader.
2016: King George VI Chase
Thistlecrack and Tizzard had a fantastic couple of seasons together in 2015 and 2016, which included a Novices’ Chase victory at Cheltenham, a Stayers’ Hurdle triumph at Aintree and a Long Walk Hurdle win at Ascot. However, it was all topped off with a victory in the King George on Boxing Day in 2016. Thistlecrack and Tom Scudamore were the 11/10 favourites heading into the three-mile outing and they duly delivered as they beat stablemate Cue Card across the line by over three lengths. It was a ninth successive victory for Thistlecrack, a streak that would be ended by Many Clouds a month later.
2016: Betfair Chase
Cue Card is another horse who brought immense success to Tizzard’s stables, and his sensational career includes victories in the King George, the Bowl and the Ryanair Chase. However, we’re going to zone in on his Betfair Chase victory in 2016. Cue Card, who has won the race twice prior to the 2016 renewal, headed to Haydock as the 15/8 favourite. On paper, he faced stiff competition from the likes of Coneygree and Silviniaco Conti, who were hot on his heels in the betting. The race, however, was a walk in the park for Cue Card as he went on to land his hat-trick with a whopping 15-length victory.
“He means everything,” an emotional Tizzard said afterwards. “We’ve got a few other ones now, but then he comes and does this. He’s absolutely sluiced up today and he’s every bit as good as he’s ever been. Paddy [Brennan] gave him an absolutely perfect ride.
“He does like this ground – he sort of floats on top. He didn’t have a hard race at all, did he? I’m just chuffed for the horse really, to keep on doing it. He’s every bit as good as he’s ever been. He’s got the best place in the stable, he can see everyone and he deserves it – he’s our star.”
Here’s hoping Tizzard will get the send-off he deserves from his strong contingent of horses at the upcoming Grand National Festival.