Cheltenham nerves hit Tizzard

Colin Tizzard is bracing himself for a "nervous" three weeks after Cue Card's tremendous display in Saturday's Ascot Chase all but confirmed the Dorset handler will saddle Britain's three biggest hopes for next month's Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Cue Card came out of Saturday's race in good form

Heading the betting for the blue riband is Thistlecrack, who proved too strong for Cue Card in the King George VI Chase before suffering his first defeat over fences at the hands of the ill-fated Many Clouds at Cheltenham last month.

His Hennessy Gold Cup and Welsh Grand National-winning stable companion, Native River, looks set to line up at Prestbury Park as second-favourite after completing his hat-trick in last weekend's Denman Chase at Newbury.

Cue Card, who Tizzard revealed on Saturday emerged from his King George reverse with a "big, fat leg", is currently third in the market at 6/1 after he bounced back to his brilliant best with what his trainer felt was a foot-perfect display in Berkshire.

Tizzard said: "Cue Card is absolutely fine this morning.

"I thought his performance on Saturday was as perfect as you can get. On all known form he deserved to win, but that doesn't mean they will.

"He travelled and jumped and came away in his own time, so we were delighted."

Looking ahead to the Gold Cup on March 17, the trainer added: "We're in a lovely position and now it's a case of trying to get them all there in one piece.

"Every day will be a nervous day for the next few weeks, hoping something doesn't go wrong.

"We just hope we don't get any bad luck."

Read More at Sporting Life

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