Injury rules Cue Card out of Cheltenham Festival

Trainer Colin Tizzard has ruled his stable star Cue Card out of the Cheltenham Festival.

The eight-year-old held entries in the Ryanair Chase and Cheltenham Gold Cup, for which he had been 4/1 and 8/1 respectively with Coral.

Tizzard told the Racing Post: “He has not been quite right behind for a week and the decision has been made this morning that he will not run at Cheltenham.”

Cue Card was going for his third win at the Festival following successes in the Champion Bumper in 2010 and last year’s Ryanair Chase.

He had run out a brilliant winner of the King George at Kempton on Boxing Day on his second start this season, before finding only Silviniaco Conti too good in the Betfair Chase at Haydock when last seen in action.

Gelding Cue Card becomes the second star name to miss this year’s Festival as Sprinter Sacre will not defend his crown in the Queen Mother Champion Chase, and not surprisingly his absence has seen Coral betting markets shaken up for the Ryanair Chase and Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Al Ferof and Dynaste now share favouritism for the Ryanair on 4/1 having both been trimmed a point from 5s. Benefficient is next best at 5/1 followed by First Lieutenant on 6s.

In the Gold Cup, favourite Bobs Worth is now into 7/4 from 2/1, while Silviniaco Conti is 3/1 (from 7/2) and Last Instalment is 5/1 (from 6s). It’s then 14/1 bar that trio.