22nd February, 2012 - Posted by Elliot Slater - Comments Off
Cue Card is reportedly fully recovered from the minor bout of lameness that forced him out of last week’s big novice chase at Newbury and will have a racecourse gallop next week to put him spot on to take on Sprinter Sacre and Al Ferof in what is building into a simply mouth-watering renewal of the Arkle Chase at the Cheltenham Festival on March 13, writes Elliot Slater.
The winner of the 2010 Cheltenham Festival Bumper proved himself a smart hurdler last term, twice running second in Grade 2 company either side of finishing fourth to Al Ferof in the Supreme Novices Hurdle after having endured an interrupted preparation to the race.
Trainer by Colin Tizzard, who sent out a breathtaking across-the-card five-timer on Saturday), the gelded son of King’s theatre made a winning start to his chasing career when beating the useful Micheal Flips at Chepstow in October before looking as though he might give Grand Crus something to think about until unseating his rider at the 11th fence in the Steel Plate & Sections Novice Chase at Cheltenham the following month.
At Newbury two weeks later Cue Card was heavily backed among horse racing betting tips and looked to have sealed the argument when going two lengths clear of Bobs Worth on the run-in, only for Nicky Henderson’s high-class hurdler/chaser to come with a withering late run that carried him into the lead in the very last stride. It was back to the winners’ enclosure though on his most recent outing when Cue Card, under ever-present pilot Joe Tizzard, easily accounted for last week’s subsequent Grade 1 Scilly Isles Novice Chase winner For Non Stop by four-lengths back at Newbury on New Year’s Eve.
Colin Tizzard has no doubt his charge is over the minor setback last week and assures the public his horse is a stronger, more athletic horse than last season and will go close at Cheltenham in the Arkle, a race for which he is currently rated a general 9/1 fourth-favourite in the horse racing betting behind 5/4 market leader Sprinter Sacre.