Cue Card has won the Betfair Chase at Haydowck, the first Grade One feature of the British jumps season, to put himself in line for a lucrative bonus.
Saturday’s race was billed as a clash between Cue Card (15-8 fav) and Coneygree (2-1) and didn’t disappoint with the winner finally drawing away to put 15 lengths on his rival to claim the race for the third time in four years.
Winning trainer Colin Tizzard said Cue Card would be put on a path to the King George VI Chase and the Cheltenham Gold Cup and a BP1 million ($A1.68 million) bonus for the triple crown.
Cue Card won the first two legs last year only to fall at Cheltenham.
“We went for the King George last year and that is the route we’ll take again,” Tizzard said.
“”He’s got the adulation from the crowd now. For a few years everyone thought because he was so brilliant as a four-year-old he wouldn’t last, but now people have latched on to him.
“He’s absolutely sluiced up today and he’s every bit as good as he’s ever been.”