Cue Card: one of the stars in Colin Tizzard's teamPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Cue Card faces six in Charlie Hall defence
LAST year's bet365 Charlie Hall Chase winner Cue Card will face six rivals for Saturday's Grade 2 at Wetherby, and jockey Paddy Brennan has been very happy with the ten-year-old's preparation.
Brennan was aboard for a recent racecourse gallop, and thinks Cue Card is still as good as ever. As well as the Charlie Hall, Cue Card also captured the Betfair Chase for a second time and the King George VI at Kempton in what was a memorable season.
The jockey is now an ambassador for bookmaker 32Red, and he said in a video interview: "We've been really pleased with him, he's had a perfect preparation and doesn't feel like he's lost any of his spark."
But for a fall at the third-last when travelling well, Cue Card may have also claimed the Timico Gold Cup at last season's Cheltenham Festival, and Brennan retains hope the horse could still be a factor in the race.
He is a best-priced 11-1 chance behind stablemate Thistlecrack, and Brennan added: "If things had worked out differently in the Gold Cup and he'd stood up I'd be saying he's the best I've ever ridden. I still think he has a chance of proving that."
Charlie Hall opposition
Cue Card saw off Dynaste by three-and-three-quarter lengths in last season's Charlie Hall, and David Pipe's grey is back again, along with Menorah, who was pulled up in the race.
Blaklion, who won last season's Towton Novices' Chase over course-and-distance goes for Nigel Twiston-Davies, with Irish Cavalier, Virak and Wakanda completing the field.