Cue Card: has been superb this season for Tizzard team
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Preview: Punchestown, Wednesday
Bibby Financial Services Punchestown Gold Cup (Grade 1) 3m1f, 5yo+
ALTHOUGH racegoers have been denied the much-anticipated rematch between Don Cossack and Cue Card, Britain’s top staying chaser still has a chance to claim to be the season’s number-one performer in the second day feature of the Punchestown festival.
Since finishing a well-beaten fourth in this race 12 months ago, Cue Card has performed like a racehorse reborn, principally, trainer Colin Tizzard believes, owing to the relocation of his yard and its new facilities.
Five outings have yielded four victories this term, the most recent coming at Aintree, where Jean Bishop’s ten-year-old defeated Don Poli and Djakadam by nine and 17 lengths despite being heavily eased by Paddy Brennan.
Tizzard said: “We pretend we know everything, but at this time of year you never quite know how a horse will run. Having said that his coat is beautiful and to my eyes he’s in as good form as he’s been in all season – and on that form he deserves to be favourite.”
Opposition facing tough task
Ruby Walsh, who rides Djakadam, acknowledges the seven-year-old will need to improve to reverse form with Cue Card.
“He has a bit to find with Cue Card and Don Poli on Aintree form,” Walsh said. “He was disappointing there but it may have come too soon after Cheltenham.
“He didn’t jump or travel like he can, but he’s been in good form since and we’ve freshened him up at home, but we’re just hoping for the best.”
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