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Popular steeplechaser Cue Card is retired early

Colin Tizzard & Cue Card

Colin Tizzard-trained Cue Card, one of the most popular horses in jump racing, has been retired after winning nine races at the top Grade One level.

The 12-year-old won twice at the Cheltenham Festival and took the King George VI Chase in 2015.

He had been due to bow out at Sandown on 28 April, but will not race again.

“He wasn’t working quite as well as he can and we didn’t want to race him at Sandown if we weren’t 100% happy,” Joe Tizzard, assistant trainer, told Coral.

“We will still take him to Sandown to parade him, and to celebrate a great career.

“He has been an incredible horse for us and now he can look forward to a new chapter in his life.”

Analysis

Cornelius Lysaght, BBC horse racing correspondent

The retirement of Cue Card is the genuine end of an era.

For jump racing, he was that rarity – a ‘people’s horse’, highly talented and simply adored by his public.

Why? I think it was because of his success, obviously, but also his bold style and his ability to bounce back from setbacks and falls – his departures at the third-last fence in two Gold Cups are the stuff of racing legend.

There is also the fact that when he originally appeared knocking on the door of the ‘big time’, he was from a stable in the Tizzards, based in rural Dorset and then much lower profile.

That seemed to represent what jump racing, with its roots with the ‘small man’ in the countryside, was all about.

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BBC Sport – Horse Racing

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