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Saturday, 19 January, 2019

No retirement plans as Cue Card puts on another brave display

Cue Card on his way to finishing second in the Betway Bowl
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He seems to have been around forever, he is renowned for the way he bounces back from adversity and his recent fall has clearly not got the better of him.

Ken Barlow may still be recuperating in Coronation Street but across the ITV schedule Cue Card showed there is still plenty of active life in him.

He had fallen three out in the Gold Cup for the second year in a row, and while he may well have been an unlucky loser at Cheltenham in 2016 he'd not looked to be going well 12 months on.

Yet this is a chaser who has made a career out of returning from disappointment. Twice already this season he had come back from a below-form effort to score in Grade 1 company.

No disgrace in defeat

He threatened to make it a treble for much of the way in the Betway Bowl under an attacking ride by Paddy Brennan, and Colin Tizzard was far from upset with his neck defeat.

"It was a fantastic run," the trainer said. "He loved being ridden that positive. The front two were very close in the King George and very close today, and the third horse was 15 lengths behind."

He is carrying on

Tizzard added there are no plans for imminent retirement. "I know people are saying he's 11 but he's as good as he's ever been and loves racing like that. He can go out in the field and come back next season.

"He's still got plenty of pace and was outstayed by a real stayer. It doesn't have to be the Gold Cup, it could be the Ryanair. I'm not saying he won't go to the Gold Cup, but there are plenty of other races he can do as well."

Smad Place was an honourable third and trainer Alan King said: "He's run another cracker and we're very proud of him. We'll give him a summer break and hopefully have one more season."

I know people are saying he's 11 but he's as good as he's ever been and loves racing like that
E.W. Terms
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