Colin Tizzard: Cue Card in ‘excellent shape’

Colin Tizzard can barely wait for the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup with Cue Card.

Colin Tizzard: Cue Card in ‘excellent shape’

Tizzard has his stable star in “excellent shape” as the Betfair Chase and King George VI Chase hero looks to secure a £1m (€1.3m) bonus on offer from Jockey Club Racecourses if he can add the Festival feature to his laurels.

The 10-year-old could have a racecourse gallop before his big date on March 18.

Tizzard said: “He’s in excellent shape, the same shape he’s been in all season.

“We’re just starting to really build his work up now having had an easy spell.

“No doubt Paddy (Brennan) will come down to have a sit on him at some point and we’ll just carry on as we are.

“We’ll probably take him for a racecourse gallop.”

Elsewhere, Jonjo O’Neill is leaning towards sending former World Hurdle winner More Of That to Newbury on Saturday for his next start over fences.

Although plans remain fluid, the Jackdaws Castle handler is favouring a step back up in trip for a three-mile novice chase at the Berkshire track for the eight-year-old, who is second favourite for next month’s RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

O’Neill said: “I’ve entered More Of That for a graduation chase at Kempton on Friday and I will enter him on Monday for Newbury on Saturday.

“He will probably head to Newbury on Saturday. It depends on the ground, but that is most likely where he will go. He seems in good order.”

Meanwhile, Nigel Twiston-Davies feels it is too early to say how good exciting novice chaser Bristol De Mai will be.

Although hailing the five-year-old’s victory in the Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase at Sandown on Saturday as probably the best performance of his career, Twiston-Davies is reluctant to compare him to his former stable stars at this stage.

After running away with the Altcar Novices’ Chase at Haydock last month, the grey gelding saw his odds for the JLT Novices’ Chase at next month’s Cheltenham Festival shortened when claiming his first Grade One victory over fences.

Twiston-Davies said: “Bristol De Mai has come out of his race fine, which is good news. I think that was probably his best performance.

“In his two previous races he absolutely murdered them, but he was taking on higher class runners at Sandown and he beat them really well. Moving him up in trip to two and half miles has really helped him.

“He will go to the JLT now as we are pretty sure two and a half miles is his trip, but I think he will probably stay further in the end.

“Anything is possible, but it is too early to start to comparing him. He is a very exciting horse and we are lucky to have him.”

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