Colin Tizzard: celebrated his 61st birthday with a Grade 1 winner
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
By Andrew Dietz 2:33PM 7 JAN 2017
Report: Sandown, Saturday
32Red Tolworth Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 1m7f216y, 4yo+
COLIN TIZZARD unleashed yet another star in a season he has dominated as Finian’s Oscar made the giant leap up to Grade 1 level in brilliant style.
Not many Hereford novice hurdle winners are pitched into the highest company on their following start, but Finian’s Oscar fully justified the bold decision with a comprehensive victory under Tom O’Brien.
Main market rival Capitaine was expected to go off in front but it was Chalonnial who led the way for much of the contest.
Approaching the second last, a duel between the front two in the betting looked on the cards but Capitaine hit the top of the hurdle and allowed Finian’s Oscar to stride on clear on his own.
With the combination of the steep finish and testing ground, the well-backed 11-10 favourite understandably tired in the closing stages but he had done enough to give Tizzard the perfect present on his 61st birthday.
Paddy Power cut Finian’s Oscar, who won a point-to-point as recently as October and scored over 2m5½f at Hereford on his rules debut, to 5-1 (12-1) for the Neptune Novices’ Hurdle and 12-1 (from 20) for the Supreme.
More to follow . . .