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14:20 Cheltenham: Cue Card good bet to chase home First Lieutenant

| 14.03.2013

Cue Card has the ability to top First Lieutenant and claim the Ryanair Chase at slightly longer odds.

The Colin Tizzard-trained seven-year-old is available to back at 7/2 in the wake of First Lieutenant’s 9/4 favouritism, despite the fact that the 2011 Neptune Novices’ Hurdle winner is yet to run in 2013 and hasn’t been first over the line since November of the same year.

Cherry-ripe Cue Card looks an excellent price on account of the fact he has been winning on a more frequent basis – three of his last five runs have resulted in him bringing home the bacon.

In addition to this, he also triumphed on his only trip over 2m5f to date. This is something that First Lieutenant can also boast, but no Irish-trained horse has ever succeeded in the Ryanair, and four of the previous five winners have all featured in the King George; something that cannot be said of the eight-year-old favourite.

After finishing fifth in the King George, Cue Card has all the statistics weighted heavily on his side and, while he hardly tore it up on Boxing Day, he recovered to romp home in the Ascot Chase on his last appearance, beating one of his Kempton foes, Captain Chris, in the process.

With the rain staying away, the quicker ground will also be in favour of Cue Card, with First Lieutenant arguably preferring more of a stamina test.

At each-way prices, Menorah is 8/1 and taking part here over his optimum trip, over which he has won twice this season. He certainly has a lot more going for him here than when third in the Denman Chase last time.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.



James Middleton