No winner at the Cheltenham festival in 2010 was more impressive than Cue Card. Colin Tizzard’s five year- old gelding ended the Irish domination of the Festival bumper when he became the first English trained winner since 2003. The fact that he ran out an eight-length winner of such a prestigious and competitive race on only his second start was a testament to his talent and anyone looking to bet on Cheltenham 2011 will no doubt remember this.
Connections had no concern in switching him to hurdles this season and after easily winning an Aintree novice event on his first start over obstacles, he was quickly upped in class to contest a grade 2-novice hurdle at Cheltenham’s big November meeting. As was now proving the case with Cue Card he again disposed of his rivals with the minimum of fuss.
Since that win though Cue Card was upped in class, again returning to Cheltenham, but this time he was asked to take on more experienced campaigners in an established Champion Hurdle trial, the International Hurdle. Despite travelling as strongly as ever he was readily out pointed at the business end by Menorah and the Cheltenham betting offers now suggest he’s fallible.
There is no shame in losing out to Menorah, a horse that is a strong contender for Champion Hurdle honours, however it did just highlight a possible chink in Cue Card’s armour. His first run this season was over 2 and half miles and it might just be that he is susceptible to rivals with a sharper turn of foot at the end of races over the minimum trip. Obviously he has huge amounts of class and the Supreme Novice Hurdle will be run at a fast gallop, but at his current price of less than 3/1 is he value? I’m not sure he is.