Cue Card unlikely to run in King George VI Chase at Kempton

Colin Tizzard expects Cue Card to have just three more runs before heading into retirement, with the 32Red King George VI Chase at Kempton on Tuesday week looking increasingly unlikely.

Cue Card unlikely to run in King George VI Chase at Kempton

He was in the frame for the Christmas showpiece earlier in the week and was briefly considered for the rearranged Peterborough Chase.

However, following talks with owner Jean Bishop, Tizzard is now leaning towards the Ascot Grade One he won in February last year.

“We probably won’t run Cue Card in the King George. Talking to Jean Bishop, we will just mind him. The King George is red hot,” said Tizzard.

“We considered going to Taunton, but we decided not to. He had a hard old race at Haydock (second to Bristol De Mai in the Betfair Chase).

“We just want to have three runs in the spring, then retire him. I think that’s what we will do.”

He added: “We will go to the Ascot Chase, then either the Ryanair or Gold Cup and then on to Aintree.

“Then I will have him as my hunter.”

* Runners in the final race at Cheltenham yesterday were joined by a four-legged friend of another variety after a dog escaped on to the track.

The dog joined the field on the run down to the penultimate flight in the Citipost Handicap Hurdle, which was won by Arthur’s Gift.

After running alongside the Tom Scudamore-ridden Champers On Ice the dog ducked out before the David Pipe-trained gelding jumped the second-last hurdle.

Scudamore said: “I was far enough behind to suddenly see him come on. It is not ideal, but as long as the dog is all right that is the main thing.

“These sort of things tend to happen - they shouldn’t happen as there are no excuses for them. I’m sure it didn’t give me as much of a fright as Ruby (Walsh) got jumping the second-last in the Champion Hurdle with a fork in the middle of the track!

“Everyone was all right, though.” Clerk of the course Simon Claisse said: “The dog got out of control from its owner on the footpath which runs about 75 yards north of our site.

“We believe it came through the gate that goes up into the helicopter field, which is where all the vehicles turn round for all the two-and two-and-a-half-mile races.

“It then came across an area known locally as Stud Field and made its way across to the new hill, where it got on to the track and was then caught by some groundstaff who were unable to locate the owner for some time after the race.

“We did find the owner in a distraught state with another dog on a lead. They were very apologetic about what had happened, asking whether or not it had caused any issues, which fortunately it didn’t.”

He added: “We will be reviewing our perimeter security for meetings to come. It is not the first occasion we’ve had an incursion of a dog before, as we had one come on to the back straight through a hole in the perimeter fence.

“It is only the second occasion it has happened in the 18 years I’ve been here.”

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