THE shroud of gloom covering Prestbury Park yesterday reflected the fortunes of Harry Fry’s runners this week, writes David-Lee Priest.
In the JLT Novices’ Chase (1.30pm), his five-year-old Vukovar was unable to get a blow in after being waylaid by Oscar Whiskey’s spectacular mishap at the first fence.
In brighter conditions, Third Intention finished the better of two Colin Tizzard runners in the Byrne Group Plate (aka Mildmay of Flete, 4.00pm).
He was prominent and fluid throughout under an enterprising Joe Tizzard ride only to be pegged back in the final two furlongs, ultimately placing fifth.
Also representing Venn Farm, the grey gelding Grand Vision was forthright in the Pertemps Final (2.05pm) before emptying out.
He needs softer ground and will almost certainly be well handicapped next time.
Colin Tizzard aims to get his fifth festival winner in five years as he saddles three with chances today.
Jumps Road makes it into the County Hurdle by virtue of the penalty he accrued for besting Kuda Huraa at Newbury.
According to Joe Tizzard: “He came out of that race just fine, although he was a bit lucky with the three principals falling on the home straight.”
The team, from just outside Sherborne, claimed the meeting’s final race in 2011 and look to repeat the feat with the same runner as Oiseau De Nuit contests the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual at the venerable age of 12.
Tizzard Jnr added: “He is a class act, schooled absolutely superbly last week and was placed in this again last year, a complete pleasure to have in the yard.”
The feature race of the day sees Gold Cup aspirants Bobs Worth and Silviniaco Conti filling the void left by Cue Card’s withdrawal.