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Cue Card On Target for Ryanair Chase

Cue Card's stamina was pushed to the extreme on his last outing when failing to stay the three miles of the William Hill King George VI Chase in very testing conditions at Kempton last month.

Cue Card

Cue Card
Despite that, Joe Tizzard has lost no faith in the seven-year-old, who is trained by the jump jockey's father Colin, but a drop back in trip is certain for him, with his next run pencilled in for next month after he finished fifth behind Long Run on Boxing Day.

He is a general 6-1 chance for the two-mile-five-furlong Ryanair Chase, the most likely target at the Cheltenham Festival, although Tizzard junior has not ruled out the Queen Mother Champion Chase over two miles should the ground be soft.

"He had a hard race at Kempton like they all did. It rode a decent race, a real test of stamina and he's come out of it fine," the jockey told At The Races.

"He'll have a run at the beginning of February. There are no plans as such yet, but he'll have a run then and go straight to Cheltenham.

"I don't think he'll go back up to three miles, but before the Arkle last year I thought two miles was his trip on softer ground all through Christmas time, but then after that I thought we should probably go further.

"If the ground ends up goodish at Cheltenham, he'll most likely run in the Ryanair but if it came up softer, he could possibly drop back for the Queen Mother.

"Over two miles and two and a quarter you can ride him real positive, but there is no way you could have done that at Kempton. On better ground we might try the trip again.

"I haven't changed my opinion of him just because he didn't get the trip in the King George. At Exeter (in the Haldon Gold Cup), he was awesome that day.

"I like to ride him positive, sending him on and use his jumping and his stride. It's a pity to waste that speed over a longer trip, hence we're dropping him back."

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