COLIN Tizzard plans to give Cue Card a racecourse gallop next week as part of his final preparation for Cheltenham after the Arkle Trophy hope missed his intended prep run at Newbury on Friday.
The 2010 Champion Bumper winner was pulled out of the Game Spirit Chase after he was found to have been slightly lame.
However, Tizzard reports Cue Card back to full fitness and is looking forward to this year’s Festival.
“Last Monday morning he came out of his stable and was slightly lame,” the Milborne Port trainer said.
“We worked him on Tuesday and when we trotted him on a firm surface, he was slightly nodding so we couldn’t run him at Newbury on Friday, but by Wednesday he was fine.
“We’ll probably give him a racecourse gallop early next week. He worked beautifully and is fine.
“It’s no problem going straight to Cheltenham now. He’s had four runs and he’s a better horse this year.
“The opposition is starting to look quite hot with Sprinter Sacre, but I’m not worried about that.
“Cue Card is a very good horse in his own right. If we can get him there in the form he was in I have no worries at all we’ll have a good race.
“We were only a length and a quarter behind Sprinter Sacre in the Supreme Novice last spring and we had an interrupted preparation.
“He’s a lot better horse this year – he’s bigger and stronger and jumps well – and we shall ride him quite prominently.
“It’s a championship race, so we are not going to make any big predictions, but he won the Champion Bumper,” Tizzard said.
Meanwhile, Tizzard intends to make a late decision on whether to let last Saturday’s facile Haydock winner Cannington Brook turn out again for this weekend’s Racing Plus Chase at Kempton.
The eight-year-old galloped his rivals into the ground on Merseyside, with the handicapper deciding to raise the gelding’s mark by over a stone.
He would be well-in for this Saturday’s feature event should he take his chance, as he would only carry a 5lb penalty, but Tizzard wants to see how his charge is later this week before committing him to a run.
Tizzard said: “We left him in the race on Monday and we’re keeping our options open at the moment. I can’t really say any more than that.
“He was very good on Saturday and the handicapper has put him up 15lb, which I suppose he was entitled to after winning by 35 lengths.
“We’ve had to change our view on him a bit as a while ago we thought he was a horse for something like the four-miler at Cheltenham and now he’s winning over two-and-a-half miles, so he’s no slow coach. He’s a beautiful young horse with a bit of class about him and we’ll just have to decide whether we go to Kempton later in the week.
“If the race was 10 days later and the ground was soft, I’d say he’d nearly be a definite runner.
“But as it is, the ground is going to be different to what it was at Haydock on Saturday and it is coming up quite quick, so we’ll see.”