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Cue Card's Connections With Monmouthshire

Mon, Feb 20, 2017

On April 30th 2006, a rather special foal was born in Monmouthshire.

Cue Card, one of the most popular racehorses in training and strongly fancied for this yearís Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup, arrived into the world at Brook Farm in Penhow.

I think itís fair to assume that no-one would have anticipated the horseís life story to unfold as it has.

He went through the sales ring twice, once for 75,000 Euros and second time around he made 52,000 Euros. He went into training with Dorset trainer Colin Tizzard owned by Mrs Jean Bishop.

Cue Card first saw a racecourse in February 2010. The chosen venue was Fontwell Park in West Sussex where I was the Racecourse Manager at the time. Little did I know I was witnessing history as the horse, a four year old, won comfortably by six lengths.

Two months later he was entered in the Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival (a flat race for horses bred to go jump racing). He was sent off at odds of 40-1 and won easily by eight lengths and that evening Mrs Bishop definitely knew she had a potential superstar on her hands.

On November 12th 2010, Cue Card made his debut over fences (the larger obstacles) at Chepstow and won comfortably by eight lengths.

Roll forward to Ascot last Saturday 18th February and Mrs Bishopís star won his 16th race and another £85,000 of prize money to go with the £1,250,000 he had already accumulated in his fairy tale career. Heís also been second, eight times and third twice.

Between that opening victory in West Sussex and last weekend, Cue Card has won many of the leading prizes in jump racing including the King George at Kempton, the Betfair Chase at Haydock (three times), the Betfred Bowl at Aintree and the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham.

Last year, he was travelling like the winner in the biggest prize of them all, the Cheltenham Gold Cup, when he took a crashing fall three fences from home.

In just under one monthís time, Cue Card will bid for compensation, ridden once again, by jockey Paddy Brennan. Very few people in our sport will begrudge them victory.

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Phil Bell