Shorter trip the Cue for Tizzard tilt at the Arkle
COLIN Tizzard plans to give Cue Card one more outing before having a tilt at the Arkle Trophy at the Cheltenham Festival.
The high-class hurdler recorded his second victory from four starts over fences with an impressive performance at Newbury on Saturday, beating exciting novices For Non Stop and Walkon comfortably.
The six-year-old has been competing over longer distances so far this season, but Tizzard plans to bring his charge back to two miles for one of the hottest Arkles in recent memory.
"He's come out of the race absolutely fine and I was delighted with him," said Tizzard.
"I thought he ran a very similar race to how he ran at Newbury the time before.
"He got touched off last time and this time he won.
"He'll be coming back to the minimum trip now and the Arkle looks the race to target with him. They'll go flat out, so it will be almost like a two-and-a-half-mile race anyway.
"I haven't a clue where he'll run next. I'd imagine he'll just have one more run before Cheltenham and it will be around the end of January, start of February.
"That will mean he'll have had five runs over fences before Cheltenham, which should be enough experience for him."
Tizzard, meanwhile, is targeting Oiseau De Nuit at the 25th Anniversary of the Victor Chandler Chase at Ascot following the horse's fine effort at Kempton. The trainer was buoyed by the 10-year-old's run in the Desert Orchid Chase in which he was third to Finian's Rainbow. "His run the other day showed he isn't very far off (the best two-mile chasers)," said Tizzard.
Finian's Rainbow and Wishfull Thinking, who was second at Kempton, are also among the 12 entries for the Grade One contest over two miles and one furlong on January 21.
Paul Nicholls has two strong entries in the exciting novice Al Ferof and Kauto Star's half-brother Kauto Stone. Others in the list include last year's runner-up Somersby and Gauvain.
There is one Irish entry in the shape of the Tom Cooper-trained Forpadydeplasterer.
The 2009 Arkle Trophy hero was third behind Big Zeb in the Paddy Power Dial-A-Bet Chase at Leopardstown's Christmas meeting. "You would have to be very happy with his last performance, but for making a mistake at the last he would have been bang there. We will definitely consider the Victor Chandler now," said Cooper.