Cheltenham Festival: Day three report and Tom's Tips
It may have been a tough day for punters but Colin Tizzard's stable star provided a tonic right on Cue as he made all the running to land the Ryanair Chase in sensational style.
Cue Card, the winner of the Champion Bumper in 2010 and second behind Sprinter Sacre in last year's Arkle, jumped and traveled superbly and stormed up the hill to finish nine lengths clear of heavily fancied Irish favourite First Lieutenant.
It was the second win of the festival for Tizzard's Milborne Port stables after Golden Chieftain in the JLT on Tuesday and provided the high point of day three of theCheltenham Festival.
Afterwards jockey Joe Tizzard said: "People think that when he gets taken on his jumping falls apart but he was so relaxed in front that it didn't matter that Jason (Maguire, on Champion Court) was beside me. He did it well.
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"He's a good horse, unfortunately he's been questioned a few times throughout his career but hopefully that will stop now."
Trainer Colin Tizzard added: "Where will I ever find another horse like this? I've always said he's the best I've had, the best I'm ever going to get.
"They went a good old gallop and he proved he stays. His jumping was fast and fluent and I think we've seen him at his best today."
With the absence of four-time previous winner Big Buck's, the Ladbrokes World Hurdle trophy now adorns a new name with Solwhit taking the spoils under a hugely impressive late charge from Paul Carberry. Champion trainer Paul Nichols, still without a winner this week, had his best result of the festival so far when Celestial Halo, a former runner up in the Champion Hurdle, took second at long odds in the colours of the Stewart (Big Buck's owners) family.
The day began with the defeat of the heavily fancied David Pipe grey Dynaste in the Jewson. The novice chase was won by Benefficient at odds of 20/1 to set the tone for a day of outsider triumphs.
Holywell won the Pertemps Final handicap hurdle at 25/1, Carrickboy took the Byrne plate at 50/1, while the Kim Muir was won by Same Difference from the Nigel Twiston Davies team at an SP of 16/1. The later was tipped by thisisexeter this morning at 20/1. The cross country, re-arranged from Tuesday and delayed again for jockey JT McNamara to recieve medical treatment for an earlier fall, was won by Big Shu.