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Horse Racing

Colin Tizzard keen to excuse Elixir De Nutzs defeat at Cheltenham on Saturday

COLIN Tizzard is happy to give Elixir De Nutz a pass for his defeat in the International Hurdle.

The Terry Warner-owned five-year-old returned from injury in the Cheltenham feature on Saturday but only beat one rival home.

Colin Tizzard reckons Elixir De Nutz will improve for his comeback run

However, it was his first start since winning the Grade 1 Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown in January, as he missed the spring through injury.

Tizzard was satisfied with his performance and blamed a lack of match-fitness for his defeat.

He said: “He ran fine, because he has nearly had a year off.

“We were very careful when he came in, because we didn’t want to aggravate that little injury.

“It looked to me like he needed the run – and you will see a different horse next time, I think. Some people were disappointed, but I wasn’t.”

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Tizzard still has high hopes that Elixir De Nutz could make the grade in the Champion Hurdle in March.

He continued: “We can’t rule him out of being a Champion Hurdle horse yet – because until two furlongs out, he was going fine and then he just got tired.

“We might have a rethink after his next run. But we have got to give him another chance, because he blew up on Saturday, and I knew he might.

“He will improve massively for that run.”

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