The Big Breakaway shines at Cheltenham

The Big Breakaway put in an almost perfect round of jumping to make a winning debut over fences in the mallardjewellers.com Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham.

Last seen when finishing fourth in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at the Festival in March, the Colin Tizzard-trained five-year-old returned to winning ways with an exemplary performance.

Racing in the front pair throughout the extended three-mile prize, the 4-9 favourite always looked in control before taking lengths out of his rivals at the third last.

With The Butcher Said making a costly error when mounting a challenge at the penultimate fence, it left The Big Breakaway only needing to be pushed out from the back of the last to defeat fellow chasing debutant Doc Penfro by 10 lengths.

Joe Tizzard, son and assistant trainer, said: “I’m chuffed to bits with him. He travelled and jumped really well. He was foot perfect, but he has been since day one and, if anything, he jumped too well today. You can’t fault him though, as he did everything we asked him.

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“He found it a little bit too easy over that trip. He had a little bit of a think going away from the stands and Robbie (Power, jockey) said he wouldn’t mind dropping him back to two and a half (miles) to sharpen everything up. That’s food for thought.

“It was a lovely performance to come here and jump like that first time out. He only had three runs last year and won a point-to-point, so it was greenness more than anything (needing to pushed momentarily).”

Assessing future targets, Tizzard earmarked an outing in the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase at Kempton as a possible target for The Big Breakaway, who was cut from 20-1 into 12-1 for the three-mile novices’ chase at the Festival by both Coral and Paddy Power.

He added: “That would seem the obvious target in my mind (Kauto Star). We will have a look at the calendar and think about it. It’s five or six weeks away and it seems to tie in perfectly. He probably wants a couple of runs between now and the Festival to make sure it doesn’t happen too easily.”

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