Cue Card: there might be a change in tactics in the King GeorgePICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Tizzard: Cue Card to
prove he's ace in the pack
CUE CARD goes to Kempton on Friday with a great chance of making his third consecutive appearance in the William Hill King George VI Chase a winning one.
That was the belief expressed on Saturday by trainer Colin Tizzard, whose big-race jockey Daryl Jacob heads into the packed Christmas programme buoyed by Grade 1 glory at Ascot on Reve De Sivola.
Cue Card has faced eight opponents in the King George for the past two years and ran a cracker from the front 12 months ago when beaten only by Silviniaco Conti on soft ground.
A similar number of rivals may await him on Boxing Day after ten stood their ground at the forfeit stage, although the ground may be more suitable this year.
Cue Card is flying a little under the radar this time around after finishing only fourth in the Betfair Chase at Haydock last time out, but his trainer said: "I think he goes there with a great chance.
"Expectations were massively high a year ago when he went to Kempton on the back of winning at Haydock, but what you have to remember is it rained an hour before the King George, which turned the ground very soft, which he isn't as effective on. He wasn't quite 100 per cent at Haydock this year and had a good blow afterwards.
"If it's decent winter ground he'd have a good chance at Kempton. He's run with credit in championship races and hopefully can win one. Another plus is that our stable's in good form heading into the Christmas period."
Cue Card usually makes the running, but that may not be the case next week.
Tizzard added: "One of the options we have is for Daryl to hold him up, but it depends if anything else wants to go on. We'll leave it to Daryl to ride the race as he sees it."
Jacob certainly rode a great race on Reve De Sivola in the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot on Saturday, rousting his mount to get back up to nail Zarkandar in a thrilling finish, after which he said of Cue Card: "I can't wait to ride him. I'm schooling him on Monday and he seems in great form.
"I thought going into Haydock he would win and it was a little bit disappointing he didn't. But Colin and Joe [Tizzard] keep saying be confident and I'm confident in the Tizzards because the horses are in great form and they're great trainers. I've all the confidence they're going to bring the horse back to his best."