Bank On Tizzard’s Oscar Winning Progress

Christmas may be over but the Grade Ones are still coming thick and fast with top level action taking place at Sandown on Saturday and Naas this weekend where both novice events are likely to have an impact on Cheltenham Festival markets.

Oscar Winning Progress
When trainer Denis Murphy brought Finian’s Oscar to Portrush last October he looked a nice prospect but few who saw him flash by the line could have expected him to be contesting a Grade One race just over two months later.

Sold after that win for £250,000 on November 11th, Colin Tizzard didn’t hang around and the horse won at Hereford in December and is now going to tackle the Tolworth Hurdle which is ran over a trip just short of two miles.

Free Fall

It’s a real interesting one with Finian’s Oscar not only having such an assignment so early in his career but he’s gone from winning a point to point over three miles, won at Hereford over a bit further than two and a half and now he’s back to the very minimum around Sandown.

When you add in that Colin Tizzard has made no secret about his method of training suits staying horses,

you’d have to imagine that this fella is showing an abundance of speed at home…

…which is leading connections to take on such a challenge but that probably isn’t a massive surprise given that he won his point to point in a very rapid time also so he does tick a lot of boxes.

As Paul Nicholls often is, he was fairly bullish about his charge Capitaine who is a two-time winner over hurdles and was just denied in a listed contest when giving away almost a stone to the winner. He meets Finian’s Oscar off level weights here and it should make a very interesting race but it is the Tizzard horse that is expected to continue on that rapid rise through the ranks.

Pylon Can Stop Moore
Moores Road was in great form at Limerick finishing second in a maiden and then going on to win a couple of days later and doing so in good style.

The handicapper was probably quite fair in giving him a 9lbs hike but with a 5lbs claimer replacing a 7lbs claimer for Cork’s feature on Saturday he will need to find at least 11lbs and while the featherweight of just 9st6lbs is a help, two gruelling days around Limerick’s heavy ground may take a toll and Knockraha Pylon is picked to oblige.

At around 8/1 this filly looks a decent price. Third in Limerick the last day…

she was a winner at Cork before Christmas and her previous form would suggest that she’s well able to handle a step up in trip.

And despite her best efforts so far coming over two miles, maybe the step up will even bring out more improvement and that’s certainly what her trainer Adrian Maguire is on record as saying previously as well.

The Limerick race might have been decent enough for a mare’s contest with a small field and the seven-year-old looks to have a consistency about her now that will hopefully see her return to winning ways on Saturday.

Experience To Count For Lad
West Coast Time is the standout runner on the Cork card being out of Refinement, the Grade One winner who carried Michael Tabor’s colours to victory.

The same colours will make a rare appearance at a jumps meeting in Ireland as West Coast Time makes his debut for trainer Joseph O’Brien and there was no chances being taken in the saddle either with Patrick Mullins being booked to ride. There’s a lot going here for the son of Westerner who has a tongue tie fitted for his first racecourse outing and it will be interesting to see what way the market develops given that he opened up an odds-on shot on Friday evening.

Drumconnor Lad has the best of the form that is in the book between these seven runners and that could be key.

The point to point winner will know what it’s all about and providing the race at Leopardstown doesn’t take its toll this could be a winner for Adrian Keatley and Jamie Codd.

Recommended Bets:
Finian’s Oscar – 2.25 Sandown
Knockraha Pylon – 2.30 Cork
Drumconnor Lad – 4.10 Cork

*Prices correct at time of publication.