Trained by the affable Colin Tizzard, ably assisted by his former jockey son Joe, and ridden by Paddy Brennan, he is carrying plenty of goodwill.
Having won the Champion Bumper as a four-year-old and the Ryanair at seven, symmetry suggests he is due another Festival win at the age of 10.
His task was seemingly slightly eased as last year’s champion, Coneygree, is missing through injury while Vautour was rerouted to the Ryanair Chase, but the likes of Don Cossack, Don Poli, Smad Place and last year’s runner-up Djakadam still stand in his way.
Winner of the Betfair Chase and the King George, Cue Card is in line for a £1m (€1.3m) windfall if he can bring up the big-race hat-trick.
“Cue Card’s three wins this season have put paid to all the doubts about his stamina. For the last two years, we have not got to Cheltenham with him,” said Tizzard.
“Last year, about three weeks before Cheltenham, he could not get up the gallop. One day he was fine, the next day he wasn’t.
“He had a trapped epiglottis — it was like having a golf ball trapped in his throat.
“In desperation last season, we put a tongue-tie on him but that did not make any difference. (After his operation) he came back in this season, looking a million dollars, and from the first time we ran him, he has just been very good.
“He is absolutely brilliant at the moment and is the horse of a lifetime.
“If I could win the Gold Cup, it would be the pinnacle of training — it would last forever.”
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