Colin Tizzard remains upbeat about Cue Card’s chances of retaining his crown in the Betfair Chase at Haydock following his comprehensive defeat at Exeter on Tuesday.
Making his first appearance since filling the runner-up spot in the King George VI Chase at Kempton on St Stephen’s Day, having missed the latter stages of last season with a pelvic injury, Cue Card was a hot favourite to win a second Haldon Gold Cup.
The eight-year-old was bang in contention turning for home, but weakened in the closing stages and finished a well-beaten fourth.
Tizzard’s stable star finished third in last year’s Exeter feature before going on to claim Grade One glory on Merseyside.
The Dorset trainer is again anticipating a bold show when he returns to Haydock on November 22.
Tizzard said: “He’s come out of the race absolutely fine and I thought it was a goodish performance. It was always going to be very difficult giving all that weight to specialist two-milers and you have to remember he’d been off for 11 months.”
lJockeys Paul Hanagan, Freddie Tylicki and Richard Kingscote all suffered injury after a nasty spill involving five horses at Wolverhampton last night.
The incident occurred rounding the home turn in the 20 Risk-Free Bet At Unibet Claiming Stakes, with the David Nicholls-trained Fitz Flyer coming down in the hands of apprentice Jordan Nason.
He brought down the Hanagan-ridden Ortac Rock, Tylicki’s mount Pandar and Cape Of Hope under Kingscote. Powerful Pierre jinked on the inside of the track and unseated another apprentice rider, Toby Atkinson.
Nason and Atkinson escaped unscathed and although the other three riders are heading to hospital, they all appeared to have suffered relatively minor injuries.
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