Any doubts that the very smart young chaser, Cue Card, might bypass a crack at the Grade 1 William Hill King George VI Chase at Kempton Park on Boxing Day in favour of a bid for the Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon a week earlier have been put to bed.
Colin Tizzard’s stable star will definitely head to the Sunbury track for the big Christmas showdown, writes Elliot Slater.
Currently a top-priced 7/1 third-favourite on betfair for the mid-season chasing crown, the six-year-old is reported “in fine condition and […] looking stronger every day,” according to his regular partner, Joe Tizzard.
Tizzard believes that Cue Card’s form is being franked all the time and pointed to last season when the gelded son of King’s Theatre failed by just a short-head to beat the subsequent RSA Chase and recent Hennessy Gold Cup winner, Bob’s Worth, conceding him 7lbs.
Connections believe that Cue Card will stay the Kempton trip on his first attempt beyond two-and-half miles and that he has improved significantly since last term.
His reappearance effort in handing out an impressive 26-length beating to the useful Edgardo Sol in the Grade 2 Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter would appear to endorse that view.
Last campaign, apart from going so close against Bobs Worth at Newbury, Cue Card put up a series of good performances, having previously proved himself a high-class novice hurdler, and prior to that a top bumper horse, winning the Cheltenham Festival Bumper of 2010, where he beat Al Ferof by eight lengths.
After making a winning start to his chasing career at Chepstow in November, he unseated rider when travelling strongly in the race won by Grand Crus at Cheltenham a month later, and after failing so narrowly at Newbury returned to the Berkshire track to beat For Non Stop by four lengths in a hot race.
His subsequent second place finish to the outstanding Sprinter Sacre in the Arkle Trophy at the Betfair Cheltenham Gold Cup proved again that Cue Card has the potential to be a very smart performer over fences this campaign.