Trainer Colin Tizzard has declared that Cue Card won’t be lining up in next week’s King George VI Chase at Kempton, while he’ll have just three more runs before retiring in the spring.
Cue Card, now 11-years-old, has become one of jumps racing’s most popular stars during his incredibly consistent and durable career.
He burst on the scene when causing a major shock to win the Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival in 2010 and has been almost ever-present at the top table since. Multiple Grade One wins have been achieved, with the highlight arguably his 2015 King George win at Kempton, when he memorably ran down Vautour in the shadows of the winning post to prevail.
From there he went on to Cheltenham in pursuit of the £1m Bonus payout he’d have triggered by winning the Gold Cup. He was moving ominously well under Paddy Brennan before a crashing fall at the third last fence, as Don Cossack went on to win for trainer Gordon Elliott. Cue Card has added a trio of Grade One wins since that day, but his two runs this term suggest he is finally slowing down. The King George is deemed too hot this time around and Ascot will be his next target in the New Year for an intermediate-distance Grade One he landed last season. Then it will be a farewell tour at Cheltenham and Aintree, says his trainer. “We probably won’t run Cue Card in the King George.
Talking to Jean Bishop [owner], we will just mind him. The King George is red hot,” said Tizzard. “He had a hard old race at Haydock (second to Bristol De Mai in the Betfair Chase). We just want to have three runs in the spring, then retire him. I think that’s what we will do.” He added: “We will go to the Ascot Chase, then either the Ryanair or Gold Cup and then on to Aintree. “Then I will have him as my hunter.”
Cue Card is 26.00 to win a second Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March.