Cue Card gives Colin Tizzard another Gold Cup contender

Colin Tizzard now has the first three in the betting for the Cheltenham Gold Cup after the excellent Cue Card returned to form with victory at Ascot.

The 11-year-old eased to victory with an impressive display in the Betfair Ascot Chase as he got the better of Royal Regatta and Shantou Flyer.

Tizzard is now rated at just 10/1 by William Hill to have the first three in the betting for the big race at the festival.

Cue Card is in to 6-1 from 7-1 and Tizzard already has the 6-4 favourite Thistlecrack and Hennessy winner Native River, who is 4/1.

“Perhaps Cue Card is still too big in the betting for the Gold Cup and there is a genuine chance he could beat his stablemates to the biggest prize at Cheltenham,” said William Hill spokesman Jon Ivan-Duke.

“Colin Tizzard has an incredible hand for the Gold Cup and we’ll see plenty of interest from punters at 10-1 for him to train the first three home.”

Leading Champion Hurdle fancies Yanworth and Jezki both had disappointing days and both drifted in the betting.

Yanworth won the Betway Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton, but it was far from a classic performance as he only just overcame Ch’Tibello. Despite the win Yanworth drifted to 9/2 from 7/2 for the Champion Hurdle.

There was even more drifting in the odds for former Champion Hurdle winner Jezki after his colours were lowered by Gordon Elliott’s Tombstone at Gowran Park in the Red Mills Trial Hurdle.

Jezki is now as long as 16/1 to win the Hurdle again and is 14/1 for the Stayers’ Hurdle.

Jezki’s trainer Jessica Harrington says they are yet to decide on what race Jezki will go for and said: “We are going to go to Cheltenham, but what we go for we’ll make that decision in the next few days. I suppose it’s all what arrives on the day at Cheltenham.”

One star performer who did show some of his old form was Paul Nicholls’s Zarkandar – who won his first race in over two years as he claimed the Betfred Rendlesham Hurdle at Haydock.

On the back of the result Zarkandar was cut to 20/1 from 40/1 for the Stayers’ Hurdle, although Nicholls admitted he may save him for the National meeting at Aintree.

“He is in the Stayers’ Hurdle (at Cheltenham), but if I had my way I’d probably leave him and go to Aintree,” he said.

“He has never got the trip at Cheltenham, whereas at Aintree he loves the flat track and we could just keep him for that.”

Nicky Henderson’s Beyond Conceit is on his way to Cheltenham after winning the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle at Ascot.

After coming home at 5/2 he will now be aimed at the Supreme Novices’ or the Neptune at the festival

“We will have to have a think and he will run in one of them (Supreme Novices’ Hurdle or Neptune). The two miles in the Supreme, he will get a good gallop and will drop it and travel and finish up the hill,” said Henderson.

The Worlds End won the Prestige Novices’ Hurdle at Haydock and he will be now heading to the Albert Bartlett at Cheltenham – were he is priced 16/1 after his impressive run in Liverpool.

Also at Haydock – Don Bersy claimed the juvenile race and is newly installed at 16-1 for the Triumph Hurdle.

Rebecca Curtis’s much talked about Bigbadjohn is in to 14-1 from 33-1 for the National Hunt Chase after winning the Reynoldstown Novices’ Chase at Ascot.

Finally, there could of been a big pointer to the Grand National with Vieux Lion Rouge edging out Blaklion at Aintree in a compelling contest. Both have been backed in to 16/1 for the National – making them joint favourites with Irish star Don Poli.

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