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Cue Card set to avoid Sprinter Sacre
CUECard will not take on Sprinter Sacre in the Sporting-bet Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham on Wednesday week.
The 2010 Champion Bumper winner will instead run in the Ryanair Chase a day later, as long as Sprinter Sacre is able to take his chance in the two-mile showpiece.
Cue Card was beaten seven lengths by Nicky Henderson’s ace in the Arkle Trophy last year and connections want to avoid him this time.
They feel Cue Card’s best chance of success is in the Ryanair Chase over the longer distance of two miles and five furlongs.
“He will run in the Ryanair, but he will be left in the Champion Chase,” said Milborne Port trainer Colin Tizzard.
“If the favourite (Sprinter Sacre) runs in the Champion Chase we will go for the Ryanair.
“It’s obvious, isn’t it? We would be foolish not to leave him in the Champion Chase in case something happened to the big black horse (Sprinter Sacre).”
Meanwhile, Tizzard will issue his son Joe with waiting tactics when Third Intention tackles Captain Conan again in the Jewson Novices’ Chase next week.
He is so far winless over fences in five outings, but has been behind high-class pair Captain Conan three times and Dynaste once.
In the Grade One Scilly Isles at Sandown, Third Intention looked all over the winner before being caught late on, and Tizzard will send him out with a sheepskin noseband at Cheltenham.
“He’s rated 151 so he’s out of the handicaps and he’ll go to the Jewson,” said Tizzard.
“His head came up at Sandown. He did it at Warwick last year, but I put that down to the heavy ground, and he did it first time out this season.
“He’s had his chance so he’ll have a big fluffy white noseband on him, we could even put blinkers on but I don’t think we’ll do that yet.
“Joe needs to hold on to him a bit longer, there’s no point travelling upsides three out, he wants to jump upsides at the last.
“Cheltenham will be a different story altogether but we’ll hold on to him a bit.”