On Tuesday the news broke that the popular chaser Cue Card was to be retired. Our tribute Cue has played his final card swiftly followed, a horse who had such popularity with the general public, we look back at the best five moments from Cue Card’s Career.
Cheltenham Bumper Win
This is the day where he first announced himself on the big stage. The winner of his only start previously, at Fontwell, he was an unconsidered 40/1 outsider for his first trip to the Festival. The way he tanked through the contest was a sign of things to come, cruising through the field from the back, before bounding clear up the hill. He remains the last four-year-old winner of the contest, the only one in the last twenty-two runnings of the race. A star was born at the Festival in 2010.
Such an important win in his career. Following defeats in both the Supreme and Arkle the previous two seasons, he exploded back on the Festival scene at the highest level in 2013. Setting off in front, he barely saw another rival as he ran a Grade 1 field into the floor. Critics will say it wasn’t a strong field for the level but there is the old racing adage of ‘you can only beat what’s put in front of you.’ While it may not have been the deepest of races, the way that he despatched the field with ease on the biggest stage of all, makes it one of his finest moments.
Second Ascot Chase
Nobody knew it at the time, but the 17th February 2017 at Ascot was to be the last time that Cue Card got his head in front. Not only did he win, he absolutely annihilated them! Five rivals rated between 161 and 156 were all treated with utter contempt as Cue Card jumped to the front three from home before effortlessly coming clear. An eleven-year-old at the time, he produced a run just half a stone short of his very best, a sensational performance from the veteran.
Third Betfair Triumph
Having faced calls for his retirement from some circles of social media following his Charlie Hall defeat, he produced a run close to his peak to defeat Coneygree. In his novice campaign, leading to his Cheltenham Gold Cup triumph, Coneygree broke the heart of every rival who came to challenge him. It was a case of role reversal here, when Cue Card came to challenge three from home it was quickly apparent that Coneygree had no answer to him. He was unable to match Kauto Star’s four wins in this race in 2017, but a triple winner of a Grade 1 contest is still a very special achievement.
One of the best finishes in recent years on the jumping scene, it matters not how many times one watches the replay, it still amazes that he gets up in the shadow of the post even a hundred yards from home. Without a mistake at the last, he would more than likely have won this more snugly, but always with a flair for the dramatic, he kept followers hearts in mouths as he ran down the gallant Vautour. The Irish raider had looked all over the winner as they turned for home, but the guts and determination of a champion saw Cue Card pick up his first King George at the fourth attempt.
Have we made the right choices? Are there other races that you would put in instead, let us know on Twitter @myracingtips what you think are Cue Card’s top five moments. Follow us for all the latest racing news, views and selections.
Don’t forget you can follow all of our ITV racing tips and previews here!