Joe Tizzard admitted he spent sleepless nights after his family backyard’s bad shape last season, which coincided with the sad passing of his sister, Kim Gingell.
The Dorset-based shipyard had a terrible 2020/21 campaign to its own high standards, with only 37 winners and a total prize pool of less than £ 700,000.
They are already only six winners behind that total this time around with over half of the season remaining and have scored major wins in the Haldon Gold Cup (Eldorado Allen), Colin Parker Memorial (Fiddlerontheroof) and 1965 Chase (Lostintranslation).
Assistant coach Joe Tizzard – who will take over from his father at the end of the season – admitted that last season was a test, on and off the pitch after losing his sister, Kim, after a brief battle with cancer. .
“It’s about winners, as simple as that,” he said. “Last year it was really hard work and it wasn’t like we could put our finger on it immediately and cure the problem.
“Other years, if you have a quiet spell, the horses will have a runny nose or a cough and you know the answer immediately, but we didn’t get it last year.
“With everything that was going on in the world and even the loss of Kim, it wasn’t easy.
“I don’t mind admitting that I’ve had a lot of sleepless nights and Dad was still here, but he was also dealing with the loss of Kim and that was on his mind too.
“What you wanted was this brilliant season to lift everyone, but it went in the opposite direction. It made it a challenge, simple.”
Kim had often been described as Colin Tizzard’s “right hand man” in Operation Venn Farm, while also rode at a gallop with stable star Cue Card with Theater Guide.
Tizzard also told Mick Fitzgerald that the yard’s rebirth came as no shock to him, having seen all the horses return healthy and fit over the summer.
“Then look this year, the horses are back fit and healthy, so you knew it was going to happen,” he added.
“We were confident that the horses were back in place and the horses that are beaten are running well too.
“We have a great team of owners. If the yard is winning, the owners are happy, the staff are happy and I am happy.
“Then snowballs because the horses that shouldn’t be winning run well and win without any apparent change.”
Amanda Higgs, assistant coach at Venn Farm, added it’s more of a relief that the yard is back to shooting after 18 rough months.
“I think it’s the relief more than anything else,” he said. “It’s great for the whole team because it’s a great team effort, so having these great days you can’t beat him.
“It’s great to turn the corner and see the horses so beautiful and fresh.
“They just look prosperous, their coats are great and they are doing the job very easily while still keeping a nice bit of cool when they go out on Monday mornings.
“You can’t ask for more and it’s nice to see.”