Cue Card won the King George VI Chase at Kempton this afternoon (26 December) in a thrilling renewal of the race.
Colin Tizzard’s stable star battled it out to the line with Irish raider Vautour, culminating in a photo finish. But it was a home win, with Cue Card just taking the prize.
“It’s the best feeling in my whole career,” said rider Paddy Brennan. “I feel very proud today. I’d like to thank Cue Card and all the staff. He’s run a true race.”
The nine-year-old gelding has now won two out of three legs of the million pound bonus; the newly introduced triple crown of chasing set up by Jockey Club Racecourses. The first leg was the Betfair Chase at Haydock last month, with the final one the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March.
“It’s fantastic. He’s a brilliant horse,” said proud trainer Colin Tizzard.
“Going to last if he’d met it on good stride he would have won by length and a half,” he said.
“He looks like a Gold Cup horse now. He’s had a hard race today so I don’t know if he’ll run again before then. He was all out on the line, but it’s so lovely that he relaxes in a race. It’s absolutely brilliant.”
It was a first win in four attempts for the popular gelding, who has seemed to have a new lease of life this season. Colin’s horses have been moved to a new barn, which, as well as a wind operation, appears to have made a difference.
Two-time winner of the race Silviniaco Conti set off in front and shared leadership with Willie Mullins’ Vautour for much of the first circuit. He dropped back, leaving Vautour ahead and in a comfortable position coming for home. Favourite Don Cossack took a crashing fall at the second last leaving Cue Card and Vautour in battle over the last and to the winning post.
Earlier in the day Faugheen showed he was back in form with an impressive win the Grade One Christmas Hurdle. Ridden by Ruby Walsh and trained by Willie Mullins the 1-4 favourite beat The New One by seven lengths. He lost his unbeaten record in the Morgiana at Punchestown to stablemate Nichols Canyon on his season debut, but owner Rich Ricci revealed the gelding had lost 15kg since the run.