Hail Cue Card and a wonderful Betfair Chase!
Just got back from Haydock, still smiling! Thanks for the kind comments, and well done to other Cue Card backers.
I’m so pleased for the TIzzards, and for the horse who has galloped most of his critics into the ground today (hang your head, Mark Howard). I’ve never seen him jump better, and credit once more to Joe Tizzard. He’s not the most stylish but, like Cue Card, he has his own way of doing things. Joe takes no chances with CC. If he sees a stride, he’ll ask him up and I’ve never seen him get anything but a fine leap. But if he’s uncertain of the stride, he’ll let the horse fiddle – the 10th today was a perfect example of this.
Since I saw the horse win on his fencing debut, I was convinced he’d be a steeplechasing star, but every time I see him I learn a wee bit more. After today, I’m pretty sure that going left handed and soft ground are both important to him. He definitely jumps better this way round. He should get his ground in the King George, but I suspect he won’t jump quite so well.
Dynaste surprised me. I’ve never rated him. When Grands Crus was at the Dynaste stage, I suspected he was soft and I’d put Dynaste in the same camp. But given that was his seasonal debut, he could get closer at Kempton where running clockwise will suit him better than CC.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I believed Silv Conti might crack under pressure, but that could well have been a fitness issue today so I’m back to being undecided about him.
Bobs Worth looked superb in the paddock – I thought he had an almost tangible charisma. He’s not that big but looks superbly put together; lovely horse. That ground and track would not have been to his liking, especially the ground. I get the impression he likes to feel confident on take off at his fences from having something ‘solid’ to spring from. He wouldn’t have enjoyed that slipping feeling, and I think you’ll see a completely different horse back at his beloved Festival.
What of Cue Card’s Gold Cup chances? Well he wasn’t stopping today and he probably had an easier race than most if not all of the field. There’s a good dose of stamina on his dam’s side, and there’s a fair chance that staying is where he will finally find the ideal outlet for his huge engine. If the ground is soft in March, I’d bet him in front of Bobs Worth (and I’m heavily into BW ante-post, albeit with a saver on CC just in case he did exactly what he did today).
Long Run looks as though he’s gone now at this trip, and I was glad to hear the National is on his agenda. His jumping frailties shouldn’t hold him back now that the cores have been removed from the GN fences. Those back end leg-drops will just drag loose spruce off, and an extreme test like that should suit him very well unless it is the string of hard races that have dulled his edge, in which case, I suspect he’ll be a PU on the GN results page. He’s a fine looking horse and a great servant. Connections have never been afraid to race him although they might well now be paying the price for putting such a young horse through so many gruelling challenges.
Anyway, for those of you still awake, forgive me for droning on – still high on adrenaline! Roll on the King George