Cue to land Wetherby pot
Cue Card and Tea For Two can win feature races at Wetherby and Ascot on Saturday, says Nick Robson.
Cue Card: Looks well set to win at Wetherby
ASCOT: 1.55 Ballybolley, 2.25 Yorkist, 3.00 Cloonacool, 3.35 Tea For Two, 4.10 Clic Work, 4.45 Bagad Bihoue, 5.20 Coup De Pinceau.
AYR: 2.05 Master Of Finance, 2.35 Jet Master, 3.10 Supreme Asset, 3.45 Indian Voyage, 4.20 Throthethatch, 4.55 Work In Progress, 5.30 Amuse Me.
CHELMSFORD: 5.40 Excellent Sounds, 6.10 Buccaneers Cove, 6.40 Dealer's Choice, 7.10 Fair Selene, 7.40 Pick A Little, 8.10 Regal Gait, 8.40 Lady Bacchus, 9.10 Divine Call.
LEOPARDSTOWN: 1.30 Puppetshow, 2.00 Cascavelle, 2.30 Elizabeth Browning, 3.05 Bebhinn, 3.40 Queen Anne's Lace, 4.15 Nakeeta, 4.50 Dragon Fei, 5.25 Bay Of Biscay.
NEWMARKET: 1.20 Cashla Bay, 1.50 Yellowhammer, 2.20 Katebird, 2.55 Billesdon Bess, 3.30 Makzeem, 4.05 Baydar, 4.40 Murad Khan, 5.15 Zacynthus.
WETHERBY: 1.35 Double W's, 2.10 Miss Crick, 2.45 Ballyoptic, 3.20 CUE CARD (NAP), 3.55 Ozzie The Oscar, 4.30 Royal Vacation, 5.05 Kalondra.
Cue Card's fall in the Cheltenham Gold Cup last season was one of the biggest disappointments in National Hunt racing but he can begin the current campaign with a bang in the bet365 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby.
Colin Tizzard's durable chaser was in line for a £1million bonus after winning the Betfair Chase at Haydock and scrambling home from Vautour in the King George at Kempton.
His story grabbed the back pages, in no small part due to the fact his connections were not seen as the major players Paul Nicholls and Kauto Star were when they achieved the feat in 2006-07.
Incredibly, Kauto Star won two of the three legs in two other seasons and it just goes to show Cue Card's achievements when that modern wonder of steeplechasing – he won the Tingle Creek between Haydock and Kempton one year – is the only horse to have achieved it.
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Cue Card won the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham as a four-year-old and turns 11 in a couple of months, but last season was his best ever.
He had just joined Don Cossack and Djakadam when he fell three out and the groans around Cheltenham were deafening. He gained some compensation at Aintree when an easy winner of the Bowl and it is not hard to forgive him a slightly dull run at Punchestown afterwards.
Tizzard has his horses fairy forward for this time of year, he loves good ground and Cue Card is rated nearly a stone or more better than all of his opponents.
Nigel Twiston-Davies always tends to target something decent at Wetherby's day in the sun and this year it is Ballyoptic.
He improved at a rapid rate of knots in the second half of last season, from winning a Ffos Las novice hurdle in February to landing a Grade One at Aintree in April.
Ballyoptic continued his progression when winning a competitive handicap at Chepstow two weeks ago, when Twiston-Davies had not been shy in telling people it was meant to be a tune-up for this contest.
That victory proved he can handle quicker ground and the step up in trip for the bet365 Hurdle, better known as the West Yorkshire, can only see him in a better light.
Malcolm Jefferson has made a rapid start to the season and one of the highlights was Double W's, who won first time over fences at Carlisle.
He faces sterner opposition in the racinguk.com Chase but should be followed until beaten.
Nick Williams continues to beat the big boys with limited ammunition and Tea For Two can provide him with another big pot in the Sodexo Gold Cup.
His step-daughter Lizzie Kelly created history on him last season when becoming the first female to ride a Grade One winner in Britain when taking the Feltham at Kempton on Boxing Day.
He only ran once after that as he must go right-handed, but he was not disgraced when dropped to two and a half miles for the Scilly Isles at Sandown.
Connections are dreaming of the King George so he has to be going close in this off 153.
The Hugo Palmer-trained Baydar looks well worth a step up in class for Newmarket's James Seymour Stakes.
Having won his last four handicaps, the last of which was a valuable race at Newbury which could not have worked out any better, this looks a good option. Josephine Gordon has been in the plate the last twice and maintains the partnership.
Palmer could be celebrating a double in the "Hats Off" To Steve Brown Ben Marshall Stakes where Murad Khan could the right option.
Latharnach and Estidhkaar are rated much higher but both have the potential to 'bounce' having their second runs back after long lay-offs.
Roger Varian's Dealer's Choice can step up on a good debut in the totequadpot Four Places In Four Races Stallions EBF Maiden Fillies' Stakes at Chelmsford, while at Ayr the Nicky Richards-trained Un Noble makes appeal in the Heverlee Handicap Chase.
Posted at 1155 BST on 28/10/16.
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