Joe Tizzard hoping Haldon Gold Cup magic will return in Exeter as a trainer

Exeter’s Haldon Gold Cup provided Joe Tizzard with his first major win as a jockey and he is looking to War Lord to give him a his first big-race success as a trainer on Friday.

In his days in the saddle Tizzard was successful on Lake Kariba and Flagship Uberalles back-to-back in 1998 and 1999, and tasted glory again in 2012 on his old favourite Cue Card, trained by his father, Colin.

Last season Eldorado Allen won for the team and with Colin moving aside to let Joe take the reins, the family has an enviable record in the race.

In War Lord they have a real chance, as the grey was second in two Grade Ones last season as well as finishing a creditable fourth in the Arkle.

Tizzard said: "Lake Kariba would certainly have been one of my first big wins as a jockey and then I was lucky enough to win it the following year for Paul (Nicholls) on Flagship Uberalles. I won it three times in all with Cue Card as well.

"We won it last year with Eldorado Allen. It is a race we target, it's a local track and it's a good prize. We like it as a race and we love Exeter as a racecourse.

"He looks the right type, he was a good novice, he goes well fresh and off his mark (149) he ticks a lot of the boxes and should be really competitive.

"I think he's versatile on the ground, it was pretty decent when he won at Newton Abbot first time last season, but he wouldn't want it any quicker. We've had plenty of rain the last few days though, so hopefully it just rides on the slow side of good."

Dan Skelton believes Third Time Lucki has a "massive" chance with plenty in his favour.

Despite showing smart form as a novice, he came up short at the highest level but being able to run in a handicap and in a small field should enable him to show his talent.

"He's a very fast horse and is very good fresh. There's five runners and a small field suits him, as will a fast-run race," said Skelton.

"Harry (Skelton) made the running (in the Henry VIII Novices' Chase) and it was completely my fault - it just didn't work.

"He's got a very high cruising speed and touch wood jumps very nicely and I hope that as a second-season and beyond chaser he can take high rank with them all.

"The better the ground in any race the better he will be. He shows great speed and I think he's got a massive chance.

"Greaneteen being declared gives him a nice weight and he's got to give 4lb to War Lord on ground that I believe favours us, so he's got to go well. "

The aforementioned Greaneteen was only fourth in the race 12 months ago but went on to win the Tingle Creek and signed off by winning the Celebration Chase.

"He has achieved so much already at the top level and continues to progress at home," Nicholls told Betfair.

"He needed the run when finishing fourth in this race a year ago, but that put him spot on for the Tingle Creek a month later which he won in great style.

"We have done a lot more with Greaneteen this time ahead of this first start of the season and he is ready. His work has been first class, he has also enjoyed an away day and is still improving.

"The challenge at Exeter is not so much his fitness; more that he has to concede 20lb to some of his rivals. Win, lose or draw he then heads back to Sandown for another crack at the Tingle Creek."

Nicholls also runs Dolos, about whom he said: "Tough and reliable he fully deserved his day in the sun over two miles at Sandown in February in a two-mile handicap that he has made his own in the past five years.

"Two miles on a right-handed handed track is ideal for Dolos who usually carries top-weight and will think he is running free at Exeter with only 10st 6lb on his back in a small field which suits him. If he reproduces his last two fine runs at Sandown and Warwick he'd have a big chance, but I'm aware that he usually reserves his best form for the spring."

The field is completed by Alan Jones' Us And Them.

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