TRAINER Joe Tizzard hopes for the perfect Christmas present by winning the race named after his late sister.
The Dorset handler has four entries in the Coral Welsh Grand National on December 27 but expects to rely solely on one of the yard favourites The Big Breakaway.
The Chepstow contest, the biggest race in the Welsh racing calendar, is named in honour of Tizzard’s sister, Kim Gingell, who died, aged 43, in May 2020 after a short battle with cancer.
Colin Tizzard, Joe and Kim’s father, was known for sometimes getting emotional in the winners’ enclosure after a big race victory when he was the boss at Venn Farm.
And the tears would almost certainly flow if The Big Breakaway could land the race.
Joe Tizzard told Sun Racing it would be wonderful for the family if the horse could win the contest — especially as Coral, which backs the yard, also sponsor the marathon.
He said: “We want to be competitive in all these big races but to win this one would be very special.
“It’s obviously being run in memory of Kim, my sister, and sponsored by Coral too so it’s a race we love to target.”
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At present, Tizzard also has Fiddlerontheroof, Oscar Elite and Copperhead but those three are unlikely to line up on December 27.
The trainer said: “I think we will just run The Big Breakaway in the race.
“This has been the plan for him for quite some time now.
“He ran a super race at Haydock when he was narrowly beaten by a better horse on the day.”
Tizzard’s seven-year-old gelding went down by just a head on his seasonal debut to Venetia Williams’s Fontaine Collonges in November.
Tizzard added: “The Big Breakaway has come out of the Haydock race really well and I think the tempo of the Welsh National will suit him.
“I’d be very hopeful he will run a big race and, if we have some rain beforehand, all the better. A bit of cut in the ground would be ideal.
“He has a lot of talent. He was second in a Grade 1 at Kempton as a novice. Last season he was plagued by sore shins but he is over that and he is in good form.
“He has got his confidence back so should have a live chance.”
The horse has proved he handles the Chepstow undulations too by winning a 16-runner novice hurdle at the track in 2019.
Stable jockey Brendan Powell will ride the horse.
Kim’s son, Freddie Gingell, aged 16, is enjoying a great first season as a jockey with Paul Nicholls.
Tizzard said his nephew would have been in line for a ride in the race if the stable had run more horses in the Welsh National.
After his first victory as a jockey in February, Freddie said: “It means so much. I lost mum two years ago and she’s up there looking down.”
This is the first season Tizzard has held the sole trainer’s licence following the retirement of his father, Colin, who is still involved in running the yard. Tizzard snr famously won the Welsh National twice with Native River in 2016 and Elegant Escape in 2018.
Tizzard also reports Eldorado Allen remains on course to run in the King George at Kempton on Boxing Day.
Tizzard said: “He needs to improve a lot to win it but there is no reason he can’t be placed.
“It looks an open race compared to some years and he always runs his race. He’s shown in big races this season already he can figure in races just like this. It would be silly not to let him have a crack!”
Coral Welsh Grand National odds
5-1 Quick Wave
8-1 Ask Me Early, The Big Dog, Pats Fancy
10-1 The Galloping Bear, Gericault Roque
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12-1 Royale Pagaille
14-1 The Big Breakaway, Secret Reprieve, Ashtown Lad
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