COLIN TIZZARD is bullish about stable star Cue Card’s prospects ahead of the William Hill King George VI Chase, the highlight of the Boxing Day racing programme.
Cue Card, one of the most popular horses in training, rolled back the years when winning Wetherby’s Charlie Hall Chase before producing a career-best performance to land Haydock’s Betfair Chase.
The one concern is Cue Card’s disappointing runs in three previous King Georges, including 2013 when the horse floundered between the final two fences and was beaten by Silviniaco Conti, who bids to win Kempton’s showpiece race for a third time.
However, Tizzard said: “We’d love to have the privilege of winning a King George; he deserves something like that, he’s been a brilliant horse for five years now.
“I think he’s a healthier horse this year because we’ve got the new stables. Since he’s come in he’s been healthier. The trapped epligottis operation was done in February last year and he just couldn’t breathe. He’s proven it in his races this year and he’s been fantastic.”
The nine runners include Ireland’s Don Cossack, the highest-rated chaser on either side of the Irish Sea, and Cheltenham Festival winner Vautour from the yard of Willie Mullins.
“To run around Cheltenham the way he did, still galloping, pricking his ears going up the hill over 2m5f on that track, you would think that three miles around Kempton should be easily within his grasp,” said Mullins.