Cue Card seeks repeat Ascot Chase victory four years on
Cue Card wins the Ascot Chase in 2013 under Joe Tizzard
PICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos) Cue Card seeks delayed second Ascot Chase win By Bruce Jackson 6:30PM 17 FEB 2017
CUE CARD is ready to bridge a four-year gap between appearances at the royal racecourse as he returns in search of another Betfair Ascot Chase victory and a ninth Grade 1 triumph.
Success on his only previous visit to the track in 2013 preceded his Ryanair win at Cheltenham and this year Cue Card's connections hope it will set him up to put the record straight in the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup in just under four weeks.
Such has been the standard set by Cue Card that his King George second to stablemate Thistlecrack over Christmas is thought to have come despite not being on song.
Joe Tizzard, assistant to his father Colin, said: "I don't think he ran his true race. If he had and run like he did at Haydock the race before he would have beaten Silviniaco Conti better than he did at Kempton. Yes he was the one to put it up to Thistlecrack in the back straight and might have paid for that, but he was sore for a couple of days after.
"He now looks as good as ever and is in cracking form – he schooled well for Paddy [Brennan] on Tuesday.
"He's in as good a form as he has been in his life and age doesn't seem to be catching up with him."
The only change has been Cue Card's approach to races as Tizzard remembers riding him to his 2013 Ascot Chase win.
"He was quite keen back in those days," said Tizzard. "I know people thought he was beaten when Captain Chris came to him two out before nearly crashing out, but he was just starting to pick up and I thought I had the race won.
"He's a lot more settled now and if there is no pace and he ends up making it that wouldn't be a problem. The plan is to be handy but Paddy will ride his race."