Sizing Tennessee firmly put himself in the Grand National picture. Trained by Colin Tizzard, on December 1st, he had a hugely impressive win in the Ladbrokes Chase. The ten-year-old put up a career-best performance at Newbury. He out-jumped his rivals and left them trailing, winning one of the biggest early season handicaps. And he did it by a huge margin of ten lengths.
Winning off a handicap mark of 148, he has since been moved up to a rating of 159. Which, to be fair, is a massive rise for any horse to take on. However, he was very impressive on the day. And this was his second wide margin win of the season. He won by 11 lengths at Fontwell on his seasonal reappearance on the 5th October.
Being a ten-year-old, there is little point in doing anything with him other than targeting all of the top races this season. Which is why connections may aim him at the Grand National for his final run of the season. There are no stamina doubts following his run over four miles at the Cheltenham Festival last season. He also ran in the Scottish National. Although he was pulled up in that race.
His third-place finish at the Cheltenham festival was a very good run. And while he weakened in the closing stages, he did see out the four miles. He was ridden differently in the Ladbrokes Trophy. Held up just behind the leaders, jockey Tom Scudamore avoided making all the running like we have seen him do in the past.
That may be the reason for this season’s transformation. He stalked and took over towards the end of the race, looking like a fresh horse and pulled away from the field in style.
There are many different races that Sizing Tennessee could take on next. He is entered in the Welsh National which takes place at the end on December 27th. This is another tough handicap for him, but the way he demolished the field in the Ladbrokes Trophy, you certainly wouldn’t want to be against him if he faces handicappers again.
The other option is to find a small graded race for him. And on the back of his most recent win, he has also been given an entry to the King George Chase at Kempton on December 26th. He clearly can’t run in both so watch this space.
The performance last weekend was one that really impressed. He will be 11 years old by the time we get to the Grand National in April. However, the yard have nothing to lose with him, so they may as well let him take his chance in the big one. The way he won at Newbury suggests there could even be a little more to come from him, he was that good.