Tizzard marks card for Arkle
Colin Tizzard plans to give Cue Card one more outing before having a tilt at the Irish Independent Arkle Trophy at Cheltenham.
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 with ease.
The six-year-old has been competing over longer distances this season, but Tizzard plans to bring him back to two miles for one of the hottest Arkles in recent years.
"He has come out of the race absolutely fine," said Tizzard. "He'll be coming back to the minimum trip now and the Arkle looks the race to target. 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."
Tizzard, meanwhile, is targeting his consistent Oiseau De Nuit at 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 after leading at the last, where he made a costly mistake.
Finian's Rainbow and Wishfull Thinking, second at Kempton, are also among the 12 entries for the Grade One contest over two miles and one furlong on January 21.
There is just one Irish entry in the shape of the Tom Cooper-trained Forpadydeplasterer, third behind Big Zeb 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," said Cooper.
Meanwhile, one-time Cheltenham Gold Cup hope Barbers Shop will soon be back in training ahead of a hunter chase campaign.
Victor Chandler Chase -- Sponsors bet: 5/2 Al Ferof, 11/4 Finian's Rainbow, 5/1 Somersby, 6/1 Kauto Stone, 7/1 Gauvain, 8/1 Wishfull Thinking, 10/1 Forpadydeplasterer, 25/1 bar.