Cue Card: an impressive winner in the Betfred Bowl under Paddy Brennan
PICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
Report: Aintree, Thursday
Betfred Bowl Chase (Grade 1) 3m 210y Mildmay, 5yo
IT MAY have gone wrong at Cheltenham, but it all went mighty fine at Aintree – with a result to melt the hearts of a nation becoming a glorious reality as Cue Card romped to a fine victory in the Betfred Bowl.
The reception in the winner’s enclosure said it all after Colin Tizzard’s fine chaser secured a seventh Grade 1 win in straightforward fashion, jumping to the lead following the third last and beating Don Poli by nine lengths.
Brennan said: “There is a lot of relief. Its horseracing and you leave yourself open to criticism sometimes. Everyone will have their opinion about Cheltenham but that is the game.
“Today he proved to everyone how special he is and how special his connections are. They never doubted me. The only thing it leaves me thinking is that I probably would have won at Cheltenham.”
Sky Bet halved Cue Card in price for the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup next year, making him a 8-1 chance, while both Paddy Power and William Hill cut the 10-year-old to 4-1 (from 7) for the King George VI Chase at Kempton next season.
Bold show from Don Poli
New tactics were employed by Bryan Cooper aboard Don Poli, who raced prominently with Gold Cup second Djakadam, and the race appeared between the leading market trio on the turn to the straight.
A bold leap at the fourth last set Cue Card on the tails of the leading duo, and after another prestigious leap three out, the Jean Bishop-owned chaser hit the front.
In a matter of strides, it was just the last two fences that presented dangers to victory, though Cue Card was measured at both obstacles and ran out a comfortable victor.
Don Poli stayed on at the same pace to take second, while Djakadam was a further eight lengths back in third.
Colin Tizzard, visibly delighted after an emotional win, spoke fondly of his stablestar and Brennan, who he felt gave Cue Card a cool ride.
Tizzard said: “I have been saying all season he is in the form of his life and he showed it again today. Paddy was quite cool on him, I thought he going to be a bit closer to the front, but he got it right didn’t he?
“He has got such an engine on him now, there is no bottom to him.
“This was fantastic. It was so disappointing at Cheltenham and I am just proud of the horse. It is a brilliant day.
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