Cue Card primed for more Haldon Gold Cup glory
Cue Card can make his class tell to give weight all-round and land the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter today (2.15) for a second time.
The Colin Tizzard trained gelding romped to a 26 length success in the 2012 running, and went on to land three Grade 1 contests in 2013.
They included an impressive nine length success in the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival and a five length win over Dynaste in a strong renewal of the Betfair Chase at Haydock.
The eight-year-old also finished a cracking runner-up to Silviniaco Conti in the King George, before missing the rest of last season through a pelvic injury.
Tizzard reports Cue Card to be in excellent form ahead of his comeback run, and believes he is much fitter than when third behind Somersby in this contest 12 months ago.
With Daryl Jacob in the saddle for the first time following the retirement of the trainer’s son Joe in March, Cue Card looks capable of giving 8lb and upwards to his rivals on the pick of his form.
Indeed, he now meets Somersby on 9lb betters terms compared to last year and bigger dangers than Mick Channon’s grand old campaigner are likely to be the progressive pair of Balder Succes and God’s Own.
Balder Succes is trained by Alan King, and won five times last season during an excellent novice campaign over fences.
The six-year-old was impressive when landing the Grade 1 Maghull Novices’ Chase at Aintree, and far from disgraced on his final start at the Punchestown Festival when third to God’s Own.
King believes that Balder Succes was ridden too aggressively in the latter, and has made no secret that he believes the son of Goldneyev has the potential to make up into a live Queen Mother Champion Chase contender this season
If that is to be the case, then Balder Succes has to go close in this in receipt of 8lb from Cue Card.
God’s Own is trained by Tom George and remains open to stacks of improvement after just four starts over fences.
The six-year-old went down by just 1 1/4 lengths to Balder Succes in the Grade 2 Pendil Novices’ Chase at Kempton where after making a bad mistake four from home he rallied strongly to close all the way to the line, and then gained revenge on that rival at Punchestown when last seen in action.
There was lots to like about the way God’s Own went about his business in the latter, and in receipt of 17lb he could give Cue Card plenty to think about if ready to go at the first time of asking.