Cue Card ‘at peak of his powers’ for River rematch
Cue Card: bids to defend Betway Bowl crown
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos) Cue Card 'at peak of his powers' for Aintree By Mark Scully 5:19PM 24 MAR 2017
COLIN TIZZARD is adamant that his Cheltenham Gold Cup faller Cue Card remains "at the peak of his powers" as he prepares for an Aintree rematch with stablemate Native River.
The veteran chaser came down at the same fence in the Timico-sponsored Gold Cup last week as he had when challenging 12 months previously, but this time he looked less likely to figure in the finish.
Despite that, Tizzard is keen to press on with Cue Card and says the possibility of retiring one of the most popular horses in training was never even considered.
"He's 11, at the peak of his powers and there have been no thoughts in our minds about retiring him," he said.
"We love this horse more than anyone and the day we think he shouldn't be doing it, we'll stop but that thought hasn't even crossed our mind."
Tizzard is instead focused on Cue Card's defence of the Grade 1 Betway Bowl over 3m1f, a race he won last year when seeing off the challenge of Don Poli and Djakadam.
His most dangerous rival this time around may well be in the same yard, with Native River, third in last week's Gold Cup, also confirmed as on target for the race by Tizzard on Friday.
Finian's on road to recovery
Tizzard is happy with the condition of his Tolworth Hurdle hero Finian's Oscar, who remains on course for a trip to Aintree having missed Cheltenham with a bruised foot.
The trainer is confident the five-year-old, who had been no bigger than 5-1 for the Neptune Novices' Hurdle when ruled out of that race, will be fit for next month's meeting, with a Grade 1 Betway Mersey Novices' Hurdle over 2m4f a likely landing spot.
"Finian's Oscar is sound again now and back in full work," said Tizzard. "We're trying to get him to Aintree and then on to Punchestown. He looked fantastic this morning."