Siz­ing Ten­nessee heads New­bury one-two for Tiz­zard

El­e­gant Es­cape is sec­ond home in Lad­brokes Tro­phy Buveur D’Air wins Fight­ing Fifth for trainer Hen­der­son

The Sunday Telegraph - Sport - - Cricket - By Mar­cus Army­tage RAC­ING COR­RE­SPON­DENT at New­bury

Siz­ing Ten­nessee, a 12-1 shot, gave Colin Tiz­zard a one-two in the Lad­brokes Tro­phy af­ter he beat sta­ble com­pan­ion El­e­gant Es­cape by 10 lengths at New­bury yes­ter­day. A third Tiz­zard run­ner, West Ap­proach, was fifth.

Oc­ca­sion­ally it can be awk­ward beat­ing your own horse in such a valu­able race, par­tic­u­larly if it is close, but Tom Scu­d­amore on the win­ner had the race un­der con­trol for the last mile and when he touched down in front of long-time leader Dingo Dol­lar, the even­tual third, at the last ditch the race was as good as over.

“Ev­ery­thing else had dropped away and it was just a case of not mess­ing up,” said Scu­d­amore, who had also won the race when it was the Hen­nessy on Madi­son Du Ber­lais 10 years ago. “And he didn’t.”

Tiz­zard, who won it two years ago with last sea­son’s Gold Cup win­ner, Na­tive River, could not re­ally be­lieve his luck. “Some­times these things hap­pen in rac­ing and we don’t know why but that’s the beauty of Na­tional Hunt rac­ing,” he said.

“Tom filled me with en­cour­age­ment in the pad­dock, say­ing he was one of the best hand­i­cap­pers in the race. He bolted up first time out, we left him six weeks and then he’s gone and done this.

“He just strode away with it. He’s low mileage, he’s had leg trou­ble. I kept look­ing back to El­e­gant Es­cape stay­ing on but he was never go­ing to catch him.”

Tiz­zard added: “We’d come to New­bury and been dis­ap­pointed with three or four this week­end. It’s mega com­pet­i­tive and then we go and have three in the first five of the Lad­brokes Tro­phy. I must be good at train­ing big, slow horses!”

When Na­tive River won the race he went on to win the Welsh Na­tional, al­though it was an­other year be­fore he won the Gold Cup. Af­ter yes­ter­day’s vic­tory, Siz­ing Ten­nessee, who is al­ready 10, has been pen­cilled in for the Chep­stow marathon at Christ­mas.

Nicky Hen­der­son has had a cou­ple of things not go to script over the past two week­ends and so it was with trep­i­da­tion verg­ing on self-doubt that he sent Buveur D’Air, the two-time Cham­pion Hur­dle win­ner, to New­cas­tle to con­test the BetVic­tor Fight­ing Fifth against two other Chel­tenham win­ners from last sea­son, Sam­cro and Sum­merville Boy.

Of­ten, the Fight­ing Fifth, as it had been for Buveur D’Air last year, is a penalty kick for the reign­ing cham­pion but Sam­cro set out to ex­ploit any fit­ness is­sues Buveur D’Air might have had by mak­ing it a solid gal­lop.

But Barry Ger­aghty and Buveur D’Air just stalked him the whole way round, picked up Sam­cro go­ing to the last like a dis­pos­able lead horse and, de­spite a rare mis­take, still quick­ened away to win by eight lengths.

“That was amaz­ing,” said Hen­der­son, who had also seen Santini, a po­ten­tial big gun over fences, make a win­ning chas­ing de­but at New­bury. “I don’t know why Buveur D’Air walked through the last but he looked bet­ter than ever.

“The horses are fit and have been win­ning but you sud­denly start play­ing the big boys in the big games and you start ask­ing your­self if they’re ready. Af­ter Might Bite [in last week’s Betfair Chase] I was half ex­pect­ing an­other bloody nose as we knew they’d make the run­ning and test our fit­ness; test me.”

It is prob­a­bly fair to say that, hith­erto, Buveur D’Air had been one of the most un­der­rated dual-Cham­pion Hur­dle win­ners, while Sam­cro was by some mar­gin the most over­hyped novice hur­dler. Yes­ter­day’s re­sult should go some way to re­dress the bal­ance.

“He wasn’t him­self in last sea­son’s Cham­pion,” said Hen­der­son. “He took a long time to get over it and couldn’t go to Ain­tree. I don’t think it was a co­in­ci­dence that the one horse in the yard who went down sick on the Mon­day be­fore Chel­tenham last was We Have A Dream, who was in the sta­ble next door to Buveur D’Air.”

Buveur D’Air, Santini and Might Bite will all now head to Kemp­ton on Box­ing Day.

In con­trol: Siz­ing Ten­nessee, rid­den by Tom Scu­d­amore, gal­lops to vic­tory in the Lad­brokes Tro­phy at New­bury

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