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  • 14:40 Ryanair Chase 2m 5f

  • (Registered As The Festival Trophy Chase) (Grade 1) £275,000 added 5yo+ 8 ran
  • Winner £156,612 2nd £58,768 3rd £29,425 4th £14,658
  • Going: Good to Soft (Good in places; Cross Country: Soft in places)
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 5m 19.10s
  • Off time: 14:40:25

Cue Card produced a brilliant round to lift the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham

Last Updated: 14/03/13 5:07pm

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Cue Card: Impressive winner of the Ryanair Chase.

Cue Card: Impressive winner of the Ryanair Chase.

Cue Card produced a brilliant round to lift the Ryanair Chase for Joe and Colin Tizzard at the Cheltenham Festival.

In doing so, last year's Arkle second, paid a tribute to Sprinter Sacre whom connections had decided to avoid in this year's Champion Chase having finished seven lengths adrift of the Black Jet 12 months ago.

Cue Card and Champion Court set off at a furious gallop, jumping from fence to fence, and former dual winner Albertas Run was in trouble before the field went out into the country for the final time.

First Lieutenant, who himself was only re-routed from the Gold Cup late in the day, moved up into third as the first three put distance between themselves and the chasing pack as the race hotted up.

Champion Court was the first of the trio to come under pressure but Martin Keighley's stable star ran his heart out as he kept coming back for more despite looking beaten time and time again.

Those exertions took their toll on the hill as he weakened into an undeserved fifth.

Cue Card took several lengths out of his pursuers in the run to the second last, allowing his jockey to steady his mount into that obstacle, and he winged that as he did the last.

There was still some doubt as to whether he would be outstayed by his stamina laden rival but he never looked in danger of being caught as he scored by an impressive nine lengths.

First Lieutenant, ridden by Bryan Cooper insteady of regular pilot Davy Russell who was stood down for the day, was second with For Non Stop edging out the reigning champion Riverside Theatre for minor honours.

Joe Tizzard said: "People think that when he gets taken on his jumping falls apart but he was so relaxed in front that it didn't matter that Jason (Maguire, on Champion Court) was beside me. He did it well.

"This is great for Bob and Jean (Bishop, owners) as they've supported me for seven years now, before they had horses with dad.

"He's a good horse, unfortunately he's been questioned a few times throughout his career but hopefully that will stop now."

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