Cue Card Out Of Cheltenham

Cue Card has been ruled out of the Cheltenham Festival after picking up an injury only days before the four-day meeting is set to go ahead. Colin Tizzard’s runner was entered in both the Cheltenham Gold Cup and Ryanair Chase, in which he was successful in 12 months ago.

The problem occurred in the horse’s back where he is thought to have pulled a muscle which has left him unable to take part in a proper workout.

Cue Card was bidding for a hat-trick of Festival wins in this season’s meeting. He was successful there in 2010 when he was the surprise 40/1 winner of the Champion Bumper. Then in 2013, he won over obstacles in the Ryanair Chase. On that occasion he was 7/2 in the racing betting with bet365 where he scored by nine lengths ahead of First Lieutenant.

This started well for the eight-year as he landed the Grade One Betfair Chase at Haydock back in November. The field on that afternoon included Bobs Worth, Silviniaco Conti and Dynaste.

His success at the Lancashire track has connections dreaming of a shot at the Cheltenham Gold Cup. However, his participation in that race was dealt a blow when he struggled to see out the 3m trip in the King George VI Chase at Kempton. He led going into the third fence but then was pulled back by Silvinaco Conti who took the prize.

Cue Card’s racing odds on the bet365 website in the Ryanair Chase suggested he was more likely to line up in the shorter trip of his two entries. However, his injury has taken the decision away from his connections.

The talented chaser is the second high profile horse to be ruled out of the Festival in the last week. Sprinter Sacre will also miss the meeting as he continues to recover from an irregular heartbeat which forced him to pull up in the Desert Orchid Chase.