Cue Card dazzles at Haydock races

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Colin and Joe Tizzard celebrate after Cue Card wins the Betfair Chase

Colin and Joe Tizzard celebrate after Cue Card wins the Betfair Chase

Cue Card produced a dazzling front-running performance to see off all of his rivals in a star-studded Betfair Chase at Haydock Park on Saturday.

The seven-year-old, who had concerns over his ability to stay the three mile one furlong trip, silenced his doubters with a powerful front running display to defeat a field that contained two Cheltenham Gold Cup winners.

The 9-1 shot led proceedings from the beginning and saw off the challenges of Silviniaco Conti and then Dynaste to score by over four lengths.

The race, which is in only its ninth year, boasts a prize pot of over £100,000 to the winner and has been touted as the most exciting outside of the Cheltenham Festival. The chase attracted an impressive field, which included current Cheltenham Gold Cup holder Bob’s Worth and former winner Long Run.

An emotional Colin Tizzard, trainer of Cue Card, spoke of his delight at the result, with his son Joe steering the horse to victory.

He told Channel 4 Racing: “He’s jumped better than he ever has an he was on his game today that’s for sure. It’s embarrassing for me to cry but that’s what it’s like. It’s a big one for us.”

Joe Tizzard shared his father’s delight, claiming that Cue Card had produced his best performance.

He said: “It’s marvellous, I’m absolutely chuffed to bits. We were a bit disappointed after his run at Exeter but that’s the best he’s ever been today.”

Tony McCoy in the winners enclosure after his victory on More Of That at Haydock

Tony McCoy in the winners enclosure after his victory on More Of That at Haydock

The race headlined a terrific day of racing at the course, with several big names taking to the track across the card.Rolling Star put in an impressive performance to score in a valuable hurdle race earlier in the card, defeating the Donald McCain trained Doyley Carte after a couple of disappointing runs at the end of last season.

His trainer Nicky Henderson noted that the horse had improved dramatically over the summer and was confident he would progress further.

He said: “He went out for the summer with all the rest of the horses and even the second time I went to see him in the field I couldn’t recognise him, it was extraordinary. He was a little 4-year-old ex-French hurdler and all of a sudden he was quite a big horse, all in three weeks.”

Champion jockey Tony McCoy continued his breathtaking season with another vintage performance to score aboard More Of That for Jonjo O’Neill.

The tireless jockey once again showed his never say die attitude and drove his mount home from a seemingly improbable position to add to his tally of over 4,000 career winners.

About Nick Seddon, JMU Journalism