Tizzard happy with Cue Card as Ascot test looms

Cue Card will bid to win a Grade 1 prize he last bagged in 2013

PICTURE: John Grossick (racingpost.com/photos) Tizzard happy with Cue Card as Ascot test looms
By Jon Lees 9:30AM 14 FEB 2017

TRAINER Colin Tizzard has described Cue Card as being in "lovely form" ahead of his scheduled run in the Grade 1 Betfair Ascot Chase at Ascot on Saturday.

Cue Card won the race in 2013 and Tizzard admitted it may have been an error not running in the 2m5f feature 12 months ago, when the King's Theatre gelding was instead minded ahead of the Gold Cup and his crack at the £1 million Jockey Club Chase Triple Crown.

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"He's been in lovely form and this is a proper race in its own right," said Tizzard.

"We won it a few years ago before he went on to land the Ryanair. I remember looking at it last year and thinking we should have had him in it, so we always planned after the King George to come straight for this. Basically we just want to keep him going and I don't want him standing around for too long. He doesn't need three months between races."

Cue Card was taken out of his comfort zone by stablemate Thistlecrack in the 32Red King George VI Chase last time out but Tizzard has been happy with his schooling since.

He said: "He's been brilliant and, while he may not have run his complete race at Kempton, he was still better than the rest of them. He met Thistlecrack on his very best form and there's still a question mark whether this isn't his best trip."

Whatever the result at Ascot – where Cue Card will face a maximum of six rivals headed by Kylemore Lough and course specialist Royal Regatta – Tizzard says the book has been closed on the debate over Cue Card's Cheltenham target, which remains the Gold Cup.

He said: "That isn't why he's going to Ascot. Jean Bishop has always dreamed of winning the Gold Cup with this horse and he missed out last year, so we'll have another go this year."

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