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Cue options considered ahead of the King George

CONNECTIONS of Cue Card will wait until the dust has settled on his impressive win at Exeter before deciding whether to give the six-year-old another run before the William Hill King George VI Chase.

THE Colin Tizzard-trained gelding is a 10/1 chance for the St Stephen's Day feature at Kempton following his 26-length romp in the Haldon Gold Cup.

That race was run over nearly two and a quarter miles and though Cue Card has yet to tackle a trip in excess of two miles and five furlongs, the three miles of the Christmas showpiece is expected to be within his compass.

"The King George is the ultimate plan around Christmas. We'll have a look to see what there is in between or go straight there," said the trainer's jockey son, Joe.

"There isn't a decision. Lots of people have given us different ideas, but there is certainly no decision yet.

"Trip-wise he's bred to get three miles and we want to run him over three miles."

Burke hopes to have a Ball at Gold Cup

Trainer Keiran Burke believes Hunt Ball can continue his jaw-dropping improvement as he prepares for a crack at Paddy Power Gold Cup glory on Saturday week.

The Anthony Knott-owned gelding came to prominence last term after a rise through the ratings, progressing from an initial winning mark of 69 at Folkestone in November to a perch of 157 at the end of the campaign.

Hunt Ball secured a Listed novice chase victory in impressive style at the Cheltenham Festival, before finishing third to Follow The Plan in the Grade One Betfred Bowl Chase at Aintree.

"He has been good since he has come back," said the Somerset-based Burke. "He is quite big, but has grown and has definitely got stronger.

"He is up against some tough horses in the Paddy Power Gold Cup, most notably Grands Crus and For Non Stop. He seems to like Cheltenham, though, especially after winning at the Festival earlier in the year."

Burke has mapped out the King George VI Chase, for which he is a best-priced 25/1 shot with Stan James, and the Ryanair Chase or the Cheltenham Gold Cup at next year's Festival as Hunt Ball's main targets for the season.


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