Cue Card – a horse to be cherished
FREE TO ENTER COMPETITION
COMPETITION: The competition is now closed and the winner of a copy of Cue Card: A Tribute To A Special Horse is Tracey Doxsey. The answer to the question by how many lengths did Cue Card win the 2016 Bowl Chase at Aintree was 9
Where to do you start with the superlatives for Cue Card?
Tenacious, certainly. A faller three out in the 2016 Cheltenham Cold Cup, when seemingly with the race at his mercy, but less than a month later winning the Aintree Bowl, nine lengths ahead of Don Poli, with Djakadam and Dynaste further behind.
Powerful too. In November’s Betfair Chase at Haydock jockey Paddy Brennan kept Cue Card towards the back of the field which included the front-running Coneygree. Not until three from home did Cue Card get the instruction to go after Coneygree and go after him he did.
Despite Coneygree having a last-ditch attempt to fend off the fast-finishing Cue Card, it was in vain.
Cue Card crossed the line 15 lengths clear, to take the Grade 1 race for the third time.
Then there’s indomitable, demonstrated by another 15-length victory in February’s Betfair Chase at Ascot. After finishing second to stablemate Thistlecrack in the King George VI Chase at Kempton, trainer Colin Tizzard said Cue Card was “a bit wrong” and “had a big, fat leg”.
There was no sign of that as, again, Paddy Brennan pressed the button and Cue Card took the spoils, with Shantou Flyer back in second.
It was his ninth win at the very top, and his last.
The Gold Cup again beckoned, but he fell at the same fence as the previous year, yet this time did not seem his old self. Nevertheless, he took on the Aintree Bowl challenge the next month, this time finishing second, beaten a neck by Tea For Two.
Another fall, this time at Wetherby, was followed by a further crack at Haydock’s Betfair Chase but this time he again had to settle for second place, conceding to favourite Bristol De Mai, a 57-length winner.
At last year’s Betfair Ascot Chase he twice took the lead and was more than in contention when jumping the last but was short of room and had to be switched – on the line he was 2.75 lengths behind Waiting Patiently.
Last time out he was pulled-up in the Gold Cup. The Cheltenham Crowd cheered him as he made his way back home, having made a total of seven appearances at the Festival, starting with a surprise win at 40-1 in the 2010 Bumper, and taking the Ryanair Chase in 2013.
As we now know, he’s been retired. An intended finale at Sandown has been denied, but he’ll still be paraded in front of his many fans. They might be sad they won’t be seeing him in action, but undoubtedly pleased that he’s finished his swashbuckling racing career safe and sound.
A people’s champion carrying everyone’s’ best wishes, thankful that he gave them so many wonderful memories.
The Racing Post is publishing Cue Card – A Tribute to a Special Horse in June (£20) and we are lining up a competition where you can win a copy.
Keep your eyes peeled on our twitter account @TheRacingHub_ for the details.