Tuesday 5 November 2013

Weighty Challenge for Cue Card on Seasonal Return

Colin Tizzard’s high class chaser, Cue Card, is all set to make his seasonal return at Exeter on November 5 when he will bid to land the prestigious Grade 2 BetVictor Haldon Gold Cup Chase for the second year running.

Twelve months ago, the gelded son of King’s Theatre made a successful return to the fray in the Haldon Gold Cup when slamming the useful Edgardo Sol by no less than 26 lengths but, on that occasion, he was rated 157.

A tremendously successful 2012/13 campaign saw the son of King’s Theatre rocket up the ratings, meaning that, if he is to repeat the feat, he will have to do so off a 15lb higher mark and give away at least 17lbs to his nearest rival in this limited handicap.

After winning last year’s race, Cue Card went on to post his only disappointing effort of the term when fifth behind Long Run in the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day, but he bounced back in February to beat Captain Chris in the Grade 1 Betfair Ascot Chase.

Better was to come though as Tizzard’s charge stormed up the Cheltenham hill at the Festival meeting, slamming the high-class First Lieutenant in the Grade 1 Ryanair Chase, one of the biggest ever successes for his handler.

Ending the season in the Grade 1 Melling Chase at Aintree, it came as no surprise to punters gambling with Betfair when Cue Card failed to lay a glove on the mighty Sprinter Sacre but he ran a fine race to be second to Nicky Henderson’s superstar performer.

Amongst the likely opponents to Joe Tizzard’s mount at Exeter are the progressive William’s Wishes, the formerly very smart Somersby, and Tom George’s Module, fourth in the Grade 1 RSA Chase on his final outing of last season and a potential danger to a Cue Card repeat victory.