Joe Tizzard believes Fiddlerontheroof represents the team’s best ever chance of winning the Randox Grand National at Aintree next month.
Runner-up to Monkfish at last season’s Cheltenham Festival, the eight-year-old made a successful return at Carlisle in October before being narrowly denied by Cloudy Glen in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury.
He again had to make do with the runner-up spot back from a break at Ascot last month and still holds an entry in the Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup in a fortnight’s time.
But Tizzard – assistant to his father Colin and set to take over the licence at the end of the season – is keen to head straight to the world’s most famous steeplechase in April.
He said: “I don’t think we’re going to run him at Cheltenham, unless he wows us next week.
“The plan is to take him to the Grand National off 155. I was a bit disappointed at Ascot, but he probably ran a blinder.
“He didn’t travel and jump like he can. I didn’t enjoy watching it, but he still got there to win his race at the last and he could be a proper National horse.
“He was arguably unlucky not to win the Ladbrokes Trophy and arguably unlucky not to win at Ascot the other day, so we’ve saved him for the spring and he’ll go to the National with a chance.”
While Tizzard believes Fiddlerontheroof could develop into a Gold Cup contender in time, he is keen to make the most of his current mark in the National.
“He’s rated 157 now, so he’s not far off the top boys and he’s a good stayer,” he added.
“If he can get into a nice rhythm at Aintree, he can travel and he’s a class horse and he’s competitive off 155 – it’s as simple as that.
“We haven’t really had a stab with the right horse at a Grand National. I mentioned it to dad at Christmas time and he said ‘I’d have that in my name still’!
“He’d have to be the best we’ve ever sent there. They set up the National fences down at the Pipes, so we’ll send him down there and do it all properly.”