Tag Archive for: Eldorado Allen

Eldorado Allen primed for Grand National challenge

Joe Tizzard’s Eldorado Allen will be one of just a handful of British horses flying the flag for the home side in the Randox Grand National at Aintree.

The grey has some solid form in staying chases to his name, winning the 2022 Denman Chase and finishing second in the Charlie Hall and the Betfair Chase during the same season before coming home fourth in the Coral Gold Cup earlier this term.

He reverted to hurdles for a sole outing in January and was last seen pulling up on heavy ground in the Ultima at the Cheltenham Festival.

Tizzard is therefore hoping conditions will be quicker in Liverpool come the National as he believes the gelding has become more comfortable on a firmer surface throughout his career.

“He is (an intended runner), he’s had a couple of poor runs and as he’s got older he wants better ground,” the trainer said.

Joe Tizzard and Eldorado Allen
Joe Tizzard and Eldorado Allen (David Davies/PA)

“I tweaked his wind after his hurdle run but if you go back to his Coral Gold Cup form where he was fourth, he ran a good race in that.

“He was staying on really well, he’s a horse that’s got a bit of class, he gets into a nice rhythm.

“I wouldn’t mind it drying out a bit, I don’t mind admitting I’d like a bit of decent soft ground for him.

“He’s got a chance of running a nice race, it’s no more than that and it’s a privilege to have a runner in these nice races.

“The horse has taken us to some special days out and there’s no reason why he couldn’t get into a nice rhythm and be bang there three out and get us all excited.”

Eldorado Allen winning the Denman Chase
Eldorado Allen winning the Denman Chase (Steven Paston/PA)

Eldorado Allen has run at Aintree several times but never around the Grand National course, so Tizzard will take him to David Pipe’s yard at Nicholashayne to school over National-type obstacles.

“I’m preparing him as normal in his work but I will take him down to Pipe’s and give him a pop over the fences,” he said.

“I couldn’t live with myself if we didn’t do it and he went and tipped over at the first or something like that, you’d question yourself, so we’ll go down and we’ll jump eight or 10 National fences and that’ll be it.”

Tizzard’s runner is likely to be one of the smallest ever British contingent to line up in the race, but the trainer is not overly concerned by the situation and does not expect it to be permanent.

“That is where we are at the moment, I don’t like to ever get too negative about this sort of stuff,” he said.

Eldorado Allen at the Cheltenham Festival in 2022
Eldorado Allen at the Cheltenham Festival in 2022 (Tim Goode/PA)

“It wasn’t that long ago that were was barely an Irish runner but that is how it’s gone, there are two Irish trainers with a lot of entries but that happens every day in Ireland.

“It’s how it is at the moment but things will change, there’s no point in English people entering horses that they don’t think are good enough or the right type for the race.

“I’m sure if we had the horses then the English trainers would be running them, as simple as that, you’ve only got to look at our result from Cheltenham this year and see there are two are three horses that will be in the Grand National next year and that will increase the numbers.”

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Tizzard pair showing no signs of ageing

Options remain fluid for Elixir De Nutz and Eldorado Allen following their fine displays at Newbury.

Both rising 10 in the new year, the Joe Tizzard-trained duo seem to be in rude health as they approach the veteran stage of their careers.

Elixir De Nutz was a Grade One winner over hurdles in his novice days, but has formed a great association with the trainer’s nephew Freddie Gingell this term, with the pairing following up their Haldon Gold Cup triumph by defying a career-high rating in the Jim Joel Memorial Trophy at Newbury.

Now rated 156, there is little wiggle room left in the handicap ranks, with a return to Graded company a possibility in 2024.

“It was a strong performance (at Newbury) and he seems to be in the form of his life,” said Tizzard.

“He was a really exciting horse as a youngster and then injuries plagued him and he has gradually built himself back up over the last few years.

“If you saw him (the morning after), he was loving life, he was fresh as paint and he’s really going in the right direction.

Elixir De Nutz jumps the water jump at Newbury
Elixir De Nutz jumps the water jump at Newbury (Steven Paston/PA)

“Fred seems to get a real good tune out of him and he has done since the first day he schooled him – and it’s lovely to have an older horse like him doing what he’s doing.

“He’s nearly going to have his hand forced and I guess we’ll cross that bridge later. I was thinking of going Desert Orchid with him, but he’s obviously going to have a lot of weight in that and the door might just be open for different things.

“I’m quite keen to keep him in smaller-field races, he seems to like that – and if that forces us into Graded company, then it does.”

Meanwhile, Tizzard was delighted with another profitable run from Eldorado Allen following his fourth-placed finish in the Coral Gold Cup.

Eldorado Allen has been a great servant for the Tizzard operation
Eldorado Allen has been a great servant for the Tizzard operation (Tim Goode/PA)

His most recent victory, and arguably his finest hour, came when winning the Denman Chase in 2022 and since then he has consistently run in some of the biggest races on the calendar.

However, with his rating beginning to fall, there are plenty of options open for the Venn Farm inmate moving forward and Tizzard believes he deserves a return to the scoresheet in the near future.

“I was really, really pleased with him and the handicapper has certainly given him a chance to be competitive in these big races,” continued Tizzard.

“Where we go is tricky, especially with all this rain that has come. He is still in the Welsh National and that will be open for discussion, but I’ll probably enter him in the Grand National as well, so he could be putting himself in that picture.

“He’s not the easiest horse to place where we think he can win, but he’s ultra-consistent, places in all these big races and doesn’t owe us a lot.

“He’s picked up a lot of prize-money along the way and at the turn of the year, he’s a veteran as well and that would open up another window – especially off his mark now.

“There’s a lot to think about and it would be really nice to get his head in front again, as the horse deserves it. Although he’s picking up lots of prize-money, he deserves to win one, so we will pick and choose a bit.”

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Eldorado Allen will go for Cheltenham gold, with line put through Newbury

Eldorado Allen remains on course for the Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup despite finishing a modest fifth to Zanza when bidding for back-to-back Denman Chase successes at Newbury.

The well-supported nine-year-old disputed the lead before being headed four out in a race was run in a time over 13 seconds quicker than standard.

Owned by John Romans and Terry Warner, Eldorado Allen has won four of his 16 starts over fences and was a creditable third to Allaho in the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham following his victory in the Denman Chase last season.

Trainer Joe Tizzard is keen to return to Prestbury Park next month for the blue riband event, although admitted Eldorado Allen, who is a general 66-1 chance, would be vying for minor honours.

“There was a bit of disappointment, but as it turned out they went too quick,” said Tizzard of his latest effort under Brendan Powell.

“The front three horses took each other on and blew themselves out. It was a very fast time and it suited hold-up horses.

“In hindsight, we should have just settled in behind the front two, but those were not the tactics going out there, so I think you can just put a line through that run.

“John and Terry are still keen to run in a Gold Cup, so we’ll take our chance and he might run into a place at best.”

Meanwhile, Elixir De Nutz, who finished a creditable runner-up to Funambule Sivola in the Game Spirit Chase on the same card, looks set to go back up in trip.

Owned by Warner, the nine-year-old has proved ultra consistent, winning three of his 11 starts over fences and finishing runner-up on another four occasions.

Elixir De Nutz will have an entry in the Grand Annual Chase
Elixir De Nutz will have an entry in the Grand Annual Chase (John Walton/PA)

Though he stayed on well after finding the pace a little quick in the extended two-mile Grade Two event, Tizzard feels he will be better with added distance.

“Unless it is a bit soft, two and a half miles will be his thing now,” said the Dorset handler.

“It was a lovely run. The handicapper was sensible and put him up about 2lb.

“We’ll enter him in the Grand Annual and the two-and-a-half-miler (the Craft Irish Whiskey Co. Plate Handicap Chase, over two miles and five furlongs).

“If the ground went soft, he might stay at two (for the Grand Annual), but two and a half is ideal for him.”

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Nicholls backing Hitman for Denman redemption

Hitman has the opportunity to put his King George disappointment behind him when he lines up in the Betfair Denman Chase at Newbury.

A head second in the Old Roan at Aintree on his seasonal bow, the Paul Nicholls-trained seven-year-old went on to record an impressive 11-length success in a Haydock graduation chase before pulling up in Kempton’s Christmas showpiece on Boxing Day.

However, the champion trainer is willing to put a line through that performance and is backing the Falco gelding to bounce back in a Grade Two contest he holds a fine record in.

Hitman during a visit to Paul Nicholls' Manor Farm Stables
Hitman during a visit to Paul Nicholls’ Manor Farm Stables (David Davies/PA)

The Ditcheat handler has won this twice in the last four years, with both Clan Des Obeaux (2019) and Secret Investor (2021) finding the scoresheet, while the likes of Kauto Star, Denman himself and Silviniaco Conti also feature on the roll of honour for Nicholls.

“It’s been a very good race for us and has always been a very good race on the way to Cheltenham,” said Nicholls.

“Kauto Star won it, Denman won it, all sorts of good horses have won it. Secret Investor beat Clan Des Obeaux one year and Clan went on to win at Aintree.

“It’s a good race, I love winning it, obviously with it being named after Denman.

“Hitman was very fancied in the King George on soft ground. He got a little bit behind then made a really bad mistake which took him out of the race, you can basically put a line through that run.

“He loves good ground, he won at Newbury on decent ground two years ago.

“He’s in good shape and it will tell us if he gets the three miles well, then we can run him over a trip and if he doesn’t then he could end up in the Ryanair.

“He’s very very well and I think he’s got a great chance.”

The Tizzard family are another operation with a fine record in this contest thanks to three-time winner Native River, while Eldorado Allen added to the Venn Farm tally 12 months ago.

That was the nine-year-old’s first try over three miles, but the defending champion has matured into the distance this season to such an extent that Joe Tizzard has reached for a pair of cheekpieces.

Eldorado Allen ridden by jockey Brendan Powell goes on to win the Betfair Denman Chase during Betfair Super Saturday at Newbury in 2022
Eldorado Allen ridden by jockey Brendan Powell goes on to win the Betfair Denman Chase during Betfair Super Saturday at Newbury in 2022 (Steven Paston/PA)

“He rarely runs a bad race,” his pilot Brendan Powell told TalkSPORT 2. “I believe he is highest rated on Saturday and after the King George at Kempton, myself and Joe just came to the conclusion to try a bit of headgear on him.

“He’s declared in cheekpieces on Saturday, just to probably make my life a little easier. Last season he was winning a Haldon Gold Cup over two miles, but he made hard work of the King George from a long way out at Kempton and you definitely can’t question his stamina now.

“When we ran in the Denman last year over three miles on good ground I wasn’t convinced he was an out-and-out stayer, but the way he ran at Haydock (Betfair Chase) in soft ground behind Protektorat, it seems stamina is his thing now, so a pair of cheekpieces should hopefully make my life easier and it would be nice to see him get his head in front again.”

Kim Bailey’s Does He Know has seen his Cheltenham victory in November franked since and his handler believes the eight-year-old deserves his chance to test himself in graded company.

He said: “It was a tough race for him (at Cheltenham), it took a lot out of him and we’ve given him plenty of time to come back.

“The plan was to either come here or go to Haydock next weekend and when we looked at the declarations, we felt he was better off running off almost level weights than being the top-end of the handicap, so he deserves his chance to run in a graded race like this and good luck to him.

“Out of this and the Cotswold Chase, this is always the weaker of the two because it falls closer to Cheltenham. I just hope he behaves because the last time he went to Newbury he behaved very badly – he went through the wing in the Challow Hurdle if you remember.

“He seems in a good place and we’re really happy with him, now it’s simply a question of how he behaves.”

Kalashnikov ridden by jockey Jack Quinlan on the way to winning the Devenish Manifesto Novices’ Chase at Aintree in 2019
Kalashnikov ridden by jockey Jack Quinlan on the way to winning the Devenish Manifesto Novices’ Chase at Aintree in 2019 (Nigel French/PA)

Wetherby’s Rowland Meyrick form will be put to the test when the third Fanion D’Estruval represents Venetia Williams at a venue he has tasted success at in the past, while Kalashnikov faded into sixth on that occasion when making his comeback from a long absence, but Amy Murphy’s stable stalwart is another with some of his finest hours in Berkshire.

“He’s in good form,” said Murphy. “It looks a very good race on paper, but we know he likes Newbury so we thought we would take our chance.

“You would have to think that Newbury is one of his favourite tracks, so hopefully it is worth us being there.

“He had a good blow at Wetherby, so we very much hope he has taken a step forward from that.”

Anthony Honeyball’s Sam Brown and the Philip Hobbs-trained Zanza complete the seven-strong field.

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