Denman Chase winner Eldorado Allen will aim to go one better from last year’s Arkle runner-up spot in the Ryanair Chase in two weeks as Joe Tizzard said he will aim for the Thursday contest rather than the Gold Cup.
The 8-year-old has enjoyed a fine campaign, winning the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter back in November before landing the aforementioned Newbury Grade 2 last month, with sights now set on the Festival.
And while it may not be the biggest team the Dorset yard have sent in recent years, the Tizzard’s are hopeful on a couple of chances at the National Hunt showpiece in Gloucestershire.
“We’re a bit light on numbers, there’s no two ways about it,” Joe told At The Races.
“Those elite horses are hard to come by. We were lucky to have Cue Card, who kept taking us to the big days, and so did Native River.
“Hopefully we’ve got some youngsters who are going to progress to that stage and I think we’ve got some chances in the handicaps. We haven’t got a standout horse, that’s for certain.
“Eldorado Allen is our highest-rated horse going into the Festival and he’d have to have a really competitive each-way chance,” he added.
“We’re going to run him in the Ryanair. There was talk of sticking him in the Gold Cup after he won the Denman, but it’s £30,000 to supplement and I’m not sure he’s an out-and-out stayer.
“We’ve all had a chat about it and for now I think he’s a Ryanair horse. There’s a big difference between three miles on good ground around Newbury and three and a quarter miles at Cheltenham in a Gold Cup. I think he’d travel in a Gold Cup, but he can have a go at that next year.
“He’s always been a nice horse and I think he goes into the Ryanair with a nice chance.”