Sunday Express - - CRICKET -

SIZ­ING TEN­NESSEE sur­prised Colin Tiz­zard when beat­ing stable­mate El­e­gant Es­cape to give the Dorset trainer a one-two in the Lad­brokes Tro­phy at New­bury.

Tiz­zard, suc­cess­ful in 2016 with Na­tive River, thought El­e­gant Es­cape was his main hope but win­ning rider Tom Scu­d­amore had other ideas.

The trainer re­vealed: “Tom filled me with en­cour­age­ment when he told me that he’s the best hand­i­capped horse in the race.

“I thought El­e­gant Es­cape was the one for us in the race. Some­times you get lucky and we cer­tainly did to­day.”

Tiz­zard is now toy­ing with the idea of fol­low­ing the same route with Siz­ing Ten­nessee as the one taken by

Na­tive River who went on to win the Welsh Na­tional in the same sea­son.

Like Tiz­zard, it was a sec­ond vic­tory in this iconic race – for­merly the Hen­nessy

– for Scu­d­amore (right), suc­cess­ful with Madi­son Du Ber­lais in 2008.

“I lost my grandad two weeks ago – my mum’s father – and it was his fu­neral yes­ter­day and I wasn’t able to go.

“Those are the sac­ri­fices you make, and I was so sorry not to be there but he was with us to­day. He was a tremen­dous man and helped a lot of peo­ple. It’s one for him.”

Thomas Pa­trick, sent off the 3-1 favourite, failed to fire af­ter vy­ing for the lead in the early stages but folded tamely af­ter a suc­ces­sion of jump­ing er­rors. Rider

Richard John­son said the geld­ing felt flat.

Mean­while, at New­cas­tle Buveur D’Air bril­liantly saw off two of the young pre­tenders to his crown in a fan­tas­tic re­newal of the Fight­ing Fifth Hur­dle.

The seven-year-old cruised to vic­tory from Ir­ish star Sam­cro with Supreme Novices hero Sum­merville Boy only fourth.

Win­ning trainer Nicky Hen­der­son said: “That was an in­cred­i­ble per­for­mance. Some peo­ple haven’t rated him as a dual Cham­pion Hur­dle win­ner – I think to­day those he has beaten are two good horses.” Sam­cro’s trainer Gor­don El­liott said: “The best won. No mat­ter what tac­tics we tried, that would have been the re­sult.

“I’m still go­ing to train him for the Cham­pion Hur­dle – we can’t back down now.”

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