horse racing

Can Cue Card step up and be King for a day?

As we build ever closer towards the ‘proper’ start of the 2012/13 National Hunt season we also begin to see a fairly large number of open days and owners’ days from some of the larger yards on the jumping block. One such day was recently held by Dorset based trainer Colin Tizzard. The Racing Post were, as usual, in attendance at this owners’ day and reported the following comments from Mr Tizzard about one of his stable stars CUE CARD.

Cue Card dealt King George as his main target

COLIN TIZZARD’S stable star Cue Card has been handed the William Hill King George VI Chase as his first major aim this season, but the Racing Post Arkle Chase runner-up could be tried over three miles for the first time at Wetherby or Ascot on November 3. Tizzard, who paraded a team of 55 horses for 210 guests at an owners’ day on Sunday, said: “The King George is definitely Cue Card’s target and we are debating whether to start him off at two miles or go straight up to three and run him in either the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby or a handicap at Ascot, both of which are on the same Saturday at the beginning of November.

“There’s no question he’ll stay, as he won the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham, but he’s also got loads of pace and was beaten only by a brilliant horse in Sprinter Sacre when second over two miles in the Arkle.”

As always it is these kind of comments that get my antenna twitching.

Will the 2010 bumper winner stay 3 miles?

Are his Dosage figures ideally suited for the rigours of the King George VI Chase?

Let us take a look…

CUE CARD Dosage figures – 4-0-6-4-0 (14) | DI 1.00 | CD 0.29

The Dosage figures for the 6yo give a hint that 3 miles could be within his range although he isn’t exactly laden with stamina and my initial assessment would be that 3 miles and further would not be his ideal trip.

Some may say that 3 miles around Kempton is an ‘easy’ 3 miles but I have never bought into that notion. Kempton is a sharp, flat track and as such you are always on the turn and there is no time for a breather, no time to fill your lungs up and replenish the supplies. In races such as the King George there are no hiding places and if you don’t have the inherited stamina to stay the trip then you will be found out.

These are the main Dosage parameters that I use to ‘Narrow the Field’ for the King George Chase –

DI of 0.64 or below


CD of -0.13 or below

Of the last 13 winners of the race that Dosage Analysis could be applied to (2 winners didn’t have enough points) ALL of them fitted in to the above Dosage criteria.

CUE CARD clearly does not fit into these parameters and as such I have to make the conclusion that he is unlikely to be winning the King George at Kempton this December.

There will be some 3 mile trips that will be more accessible for him than others and I’m not saying that he WON’T win races over 3 miles but the likes of the King George Chase and the Cheltenham Gold Cup do not look suitable targets for him in my opinion.

One Cheltenham Festival target that should be well within his range, however, is the Ryanair Chase. He has perfect Dosage figures for the rigours of this race and in my opinion the Ryanair should be the main aim for the season for this King’s Theatre gelding.

So to answer my initial question of ‘Can Cue Card step up and be King for a day?’… No, I’m pretty confident he can’t and at this stage he is unlikely to be carrying my King George cash come Boxing Day.

But what do you guys think?

Do you think CUE CARD has the tools to become the King on Boxing Day?

Can he land the William Hill King George VI Chase before going on to soar up the hill to victory in the Cheltenham Gold Cup?

What do you think Cue Card’s main target(s) for the season should be?

As always I’m interested to hear your thoughts so drop me a comment below.

Ben (NTF)

Original article taken from –

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Ben (NTF)

12 responses to “Can Cue Card step up and be King for a day?”

  1. Hi Ben, I have to say I am unsure about Cue Card over 3m, but don’t blame them having a go. I was at Newbury when he was caught by Bobsworth (to be fair JT gave him a poor ride and should have won giving 7lbs) and although it looks hot in the book with Bobsworth winning the RSA. I believe he was probably nearing the end of his tether. I can see him cantering to the final bend at Kempton then emptying out. Maybe a back to lay prospect.

    Should go close in the Ryanair. But too early to play in that market.

    • Hi Andy

      Yes I don’t think he would be hung out with the washing in the King George but there is likely to be a whole host of other runners that are more suited to the task in hand than Cue Card.

      I would like his chances in the Ryanair but as you rightly say it is way to early to play at the moment.

      Cheers – Ben (NTF)

  2. I would take him to Ireland.
    He’s not quite good enough at grade 1 level over here no matter what trip, but he would beat up some of the weaker opposition over there.

    • Hi Neil

      I would probably share the same suspicions that he is possibly just a tad below Grade 1 level, although I would, at this moment anyway, rate him as a lively one for the Ryanair. Ireland would be an interesting route but can’t see them going that way.

      Cheers – Ben (NTF)

      • I agree Ben, it’s one thing that frustrates me about our National Hunt trainers, they always moan about prize money but hardly ever take a gamble over the Irish sea. Weaker races and plenty of good prize money to plunder.

        • Yeah. Nicholls had a spell of doing it and I remember he was going to try and win the trainers title on both sides of the Irish Sea (which would have been great to follow through the season) but even he seems to have lessened his attack slightly. It is an option that should be explored more I think.

          Cheers – Ben (NTF)

  3. Two words, Kicking King. Second in the Arkle to Well Chief. Nine months later wins the King George at Kempton. Three months later wins the Gold Cup. Yes it can be done, and Cue Card is a very good horse. He gave Bobs Worth 7lbs when only beaten a short head at Newbury over 2m4f.

    It’s a tough ask, but with Long Run looking vulnerable, Kauto surely past his best and Grands Crus looking to rebuild, it looks the most open King George for many years. Grands Crus is my fancy at the moment, but we are a long way off.

    • Hi Nigel

      Only difference was that Kicking King always looked like a 3 miler (well to me anyway). He had perfect Dosage credentials for the King George and Gold Cup so it was no surprise to see him land those 2 events after a novice season spent over shorter.

      Not sure if I would have Cue Card in the same league as Kicking King.

      I have to say though that even just talking about it here the King George is sounding like an intriguing race!

      Thanks for your comment – Ben (NTF)

  4. Hi Ben,

    A few years ago I backed One Man at Chelt to win the Champion Chase after he won the King George but he wouldnt stay the Gold Cup trip. His DI was 1.00 and 0.17 which seems very similar. Cue Card could well win the King George if the opposition is not brilliant

    • Hi Allan

      ONE MAN only had 6 points in his Dosage Profile so it is hard to make an assessment on his pedigree based on that angle.

      You could be correct though in that if he faces weaker opposition than we expect then his class could help him through to the finish line.

      He may of course run well without winning before then going on to Cheltenham glory over shorter.

      We all await with bated breath 😀

      Cheers – Ben (NTF)

  5. That the Paddy Power handicap on 17th November is not being considered for CUE CARD is a big disappointment for me. Off a mark of OR157, CUE CARD looks one of the better handicapped 2nd-season chasers (I have him at 164) and the near 2m5f trip of the Paddy Power will be perfect for him.

    • Hi Ian

      It would be an decent option for him I agree although 157 is a difficult mark to win that race from. They must think he is well handicapped though as they are considering a handicap at Ascot for his comeback run.

      Cheers – Ben (NTF)

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