Cue Card is the headline act of the six horses declared for this Saturday’s Ascot Chase with the popular 11-year-old aiming to land the renewal for the second time.
A winner in 2013, Colin Tizzard’s charge will use the 2m5f contest as vital preparation for next month’s Cheltenham Gold Cup assault.
Tizzard and owner Jean Bishop have recently announced they’re putting their eggs firmly in the Gold Cup basket, having at one stage also considered the Ryanair Chase as a possible target.
And according to the latest odds, this weekend’s assignment should be a fairly routine tune-up for the big test ahead.
Cue Card is the 4/9 favourite for the Ascot Chase and well ahead of his rivals on ratings.
However, there could well be a few jokers in the pack, including fellow course and distance winner Royal Regatta.
With the odds-on jolly mainly campaigned over three miles this shorter trip could well suit the Philip Hobbs-trained entrant.
The 7/1 shot finished a distant third behind Silviniaco Conti and Dynaste in last year’s renewal. But he came back into form to land the Grade 2 Stella Artois 1965 Chase here in November and has to be respected at his favourite track and over this preferred distance.
And BetVictor Gold Cup winner Taquin Du Seuil is another catching the eye, with plenty of punters likely to make him their opposition pick.
Fifth in the Lexus Chase last time out, Jonjo O’Neill’s runner will step back down in trip for this first appearance at Ascot since 2012.
Traffic Fluide will also take his chances while Rebecca Curtis saddles Shantou Flyer and Irish Cavalier.
The latter was this season’s Charlie Hall Chase winner and had Cue Card back in third at Wetherby.
Tizzard’s leading fancy had his revenge in the Betfair Chase though and it’s difficult to envisage another dramatic role reversal.
Ladbrokes Latest Betting:
Cue Card – 4/9
Taquin Du Seuil – 6/1
Royal Regatta – 7/1
Traffic Fluide – 14/1
Shantou Flyer – 16/1
Irish Cavalier – 20/1
Click here for the latest Ascot Chase odds.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing