Cheltenham Clues and a New National Favourite

Card On Cue In Ascot Romp

Given his proven bounce-back-ability it is surprising that Colin Tizzard’s hugely popular Cue Card still has his doubters at this stage of his career. Following a slightly subpar effort in the King George last time out, there were however those who questioned how realistic a tilt at this year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup really was. If he was to silence those doubters, then he needed to be winning Saturday’s Betfair Ascot Chase and winning it well. In the event his four rivals may as well not have turned up as Cue Card put in a hugely impressive performance to turn the contest into a procession. He looked as good as ever here and it’s hard to forget how sweetly he travelled before coming to grief late on in last year’s renewal of the Gold Cup. Next stop Cheltenham where along with Thistlecrack and Native River he will make up a potent Tizzard triple threat. Cue Card is a 6/1 shot with Sky Bet for Gold Cup Glory.

Yan Proves His Worth In Kingwell

Looking ahead to an increasingly open Champion Hurdle, the latest contest of significance took place at Wincanton on Saturday as the contenders lined up for the 2017 Kingwell Hurdle. Hot favourite for the race was Alan King’s, Yanworth, who was a perfect two from two this season headed into the contest. He’s now three from three, and whilst the bare form of a one length verdict over Ch’Tibello would suggest more will be required at Cheltenham, we have been greatly impressed by the manner of his displays to date. Always doing his best work late and being well on top come the line, the demands of a strongly run two miles around Cheltenham’s stiff track looks right up his street. The layers however seemed  neutral to this display, as his odds remained largely unchanged. Alan King’s star can be backed at 9/2 with BetVictor for the Champion Hurdle. Runner up Ch’Tibello must be becoming used to the back end of Yanworth now but will also take his place in the Champion Hurdle. A place is probably the best he can hope for however, his chance reflected in odds of 40/1 with Coral.

Lion Roars To Trial Success

As fabulous as it is, it’s not all about the Cheltenham Festival in the coming weeks and months. There is also the small matter of Aintree’s April meeting, featuring the most famous steeplechase in the World: The Grand National. A race for which we now have a new favourite following the big trial at the fellow Merseyside venue of Haydock over the weekend. David Pipe’s Vieux Lion Rouge put in a relentless effort throughout the final furlong to see off the determined challenge of the tough as teak Blaklion. Also having a Becher Chase win to his name over the Aintree fences, he must head to Liverpool with as good a chance as any. Seventh in the National last year, he is favourite across the board to go six places better in 2017, with Ladbrokes making him a 12/1 shot.