By Simon Jackson.
Cheltenham Gold Cup rivals Don Cossack and Cue Card are set for a rematch in the Punchestown Gold Cup on Wednesday April 27.
The Gordon Elliott-trained Don Cossack prevailed at Cheltenham after Cue Card fell three fences from the finish when challenging for the lead.
The fall ended Cue Card’s chances of winning the £1million Chase Triple Crown after victories in the Betfair Chase and William Hill King George VI Chase.
In the King George, the favourite Don Cossack had fallen at the penultimate fence when improving, before Cue Card finished fast to secure a dramatic late victory over Vautour who also reopposes at Punchestown.
Joe Tizzard, son and assistant to Cue Card’s trainer, Colin Tizzard, believes their horse would have won the Cheltenham Gold Cup if he had not fallen and is looking forward to the rematch with Don Cossack.
“Cue Card has come out of the Aintree race [Grade 1 Betfred Bowl victory] really well and he was so fresh the following day that I couldn’t be happier with him,” Joe Tizzard said. “He’s not had a hard second half to the season and he seems in as good a shape as he has been all season.
“He was also in lovely form the day after the Cheltenham Gold Cup and bounced out of that race and schooled nicely before Aintree.
“He was in as good as form as he had been all season then and while I didn’t think he would be as impressive as he was in Liverpool, he sure ran a massive race. I think he would have won the Gold Cup.
“I’m more than happy with the horse and he’s never shied away from anything. The Bibby Financial Services Ireland Punchestown Gold Cup could be a serious race and take nothing away from Don Cossack and Vautour, who have both stood up to everything. We’ll find out who the best is at Punchestown.
“I’m having a lot of fun with (Don Cossack’s trainer) Gordon Elliott at the moment and it’s good for racing and may the best horse win.”
Read ‘Horse Talk with Simon Jackson’ at London24 for the latest horse racing news.