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2016 Cheltenham Gold Cup - Cue Card targets emotional win for £1million bonus

Jon Wilde in Fri. 17th March 17 Mar 2016
  • Cue Card would land a £1million bonus by winning the 2016 Cheltenham Gold Cup
  • Find out the latest news on the quest from the horse's trainer Colin Tizzard
Cue Card (credit: Cheltenhampro.com)

A second Cheltenham Festival tearjerker of the week is in store on Friday if Cue Card can land a £1million bonus by winning the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup, the highlight of the whole meeting.

After Sprinter Sacre’s remarkable comeback from heart problems to regain the two-mile title in the Queen Mother Champion Chase, Cue Card bids for a victory that would be equally emotional following the death of his part-owner Bob Bishop just after Christmas last year.

Bishop passed away less than a week after Cue Card had set up his chance for the £1million bonus by adding the King George VI Chase at Kempton Park to his Betfair Chase triumph at Haydock Park the previous month.

Trained by affable Colin Tizzard and ably assisted by his former jockey son Joe, and ridden by Paddy Brennan, Cue Card is carrying plenty of goodwill.

Having won the Champion Bumper easily as a four-year-old and the Ryanair Chase at seven, symmetry suggests he is due another Cheltenham Festival win at the age of 10.

His task was seemingly slightly eased by the injury absence of last year's Gold Cup hero Coneygree and also Vautour being re-routed to the Ryanair Chase, but the likes of Don Cossack, Don Poli and last year's runner-up Djakadam still stand in his way.

Tizzard senior said:
“Cue Card's three wins this season (he also won the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby first time out) have put paid to all the doubts about his stamina. 
“For the last two years, we haven’t got to Cheltenham with him. Last year, about three weeks before Cheltenham, he couldn’t get up the gallop. One day he was fine, the next day he wasn't. He had a trapped epiglottis - it was like having a golf ball trapped in his throat. In desperation last season, we put a tongue-tie on him but that didn’t make any difference. 
“Then he had an operation, came back in this season looking a million dollars and from the first time we ran him, he has just been very good. 
“He has been good all season and is still brilliant now - he looks like a staying chaser. It took all of Kempton's three miles for him to get there – that’s what (jockey) Paddy Brennan said. 
“It was outstanding when he won the Champion Bumper as a four-year-old. I had an argument with Joe, saying ‘you’ve got to hold him up’ and he said ‘I’m not doing that'. I said he had to. We held the horse up for half of the race and then Joe couldn’t hold him after that. Cue Card ran away with the Champion Bumper and ran away with the Ryanair Chase in 2013. 
 “He is absolutely brilliant at the moment and the horse of a lifetime. 
“If I could win the Gold Cup, it would be the pinnacle of training - it would last forever. The bonus money is fantastic and a lovely idea for the stable staff, the owners and everyone else. Money goes though, doesn't it? I can pay off part of my mortgage and it will be gone. 
“The Gold Cup is the best race. It may not be the biggest, the Grand National is, but for me it’s the best.”


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2016 Cheltenham Gold Cup - Cue Card targets emotional win for £1million bonus

A second Cheltenham Festival tearjerker of the week is in store on Friday if Cue Card can land a £1million bonus by winning the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup, the highlight of the whole meeting.

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