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Tuesday, 13 November, 2018

Cue Card 'still at the peak of his powers' as Tizzard quashes retirement talk

Thistlcrack (centre) and Cue Card (left) galloped at Wincanton on Saturday
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Colin Tizzard has dismissed suggestions on social media that Cue Card should be retired after his latest fall at Wetherby.

Tizzard, speaking after watching Cue Card take part in a racecourse gallop with stablestars Thistlecrack and Fox Norton at Wincanton on Saturday, said: “Hopefully we can put that one to bed. They are racehorses at the end of the day.

"Cue Card is still at the peak of his powers. He’s done more for the yard than any other and we'll take care of him.

“He’s a happy horse and he had a happy experience out there today, The day we think he’s on the wane we’ll stop.”

Thistlecrack impresses Scudamore

Thistlecrack felt 'as good as ever' according to rider Tom Scudamore when making his first public appearance since losing his unbeaten tag over fences in January.

Tizzard's nine-year-old was sidelined with a leg issue for the remainder of the season but he laid down the foundations for a return to action when accompanying stablemates Cue Card and Fox Norton on a circuit of Wincanton before racing.

Thistlecrack, partnered by Tom Scudamore, finished upsides Cue Card, who was ridden by new jockey Harry Cobden, after Fox Norton and Tom O'Brien led them a merry dance for most of the circuit.

Scudamore said afterwards about the nine-year-old, due to return to action in the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury on December 1: "I am very happy with the horse as he felt as good as ever – his enthusiasm, ability and agility were all intact and strode out really well when the tempo quickened a shade up the home straight.

"Obviously there is still a way to go but you could not be anything but pleased with that even though we did not do an awful lot more than a canter round. He is on target for his comeback hurdle race at Newbury early next month."

Cobden expressed similar sentiments about Cue Card, who he will partner in place of Paddy Brennan in the Grade 1 Betfair Chase at Haydock on November 25.

The rider said: "You would not know he had taken a heavy fall at Wetherby just a week ago as he felt fantastic and seems 100 per cent in himself. We had a nice canter round and, though he got a bit keen off the home turn, he was really pleasing."

Colin Tizzard, who celebrated a winner in the opening novices' hurdle thanks to the Cobden-ridden Kilbricken Storm, said: "All three of our horses have had a nice day out and Thistlecrack has come back and looked very pleased with himself. He has got a way to go before he is spot on but he is getting there." 

Harry Fry also galloped Ladbrokes Trophy Chase hopeful American, who was partnered by Noel Fehily, and he did a much more brisk piece of work alongside stablemate Minella Awards.

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I am very happy with the horse as he felt as good as ever - his enthusiasm, ability and agility were all intact
E.W. Terms
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