Third Intention & Cue Card Heading to The Open at Cheltenham
Trainer Colin Tizzard is looking forward too seeing Third Intention and Cue Card return to Cheltenham for The Open, which runs from Friday, November 11 to Sunday, November 13.
Third Intention is being aimed at the £100,000 Grade Three Greatwood Handicap Hurdle (2.20pm), the feature race on Sunday, November 13, after coming home sixth on his seasonal return in a competitive Ascot Listed handicap hurdle on Saturday.
The four-year-old ended last season with two good efforts at Cheltenham, finishing seventh in the Grade One JCB Triumph Hurdle at The Festival in March and completing his campaign with a facile eight-length success in the Gloucestershire Trainers Championship Novices' Hurdle at the April meeting.
Tizzard revealed today: “Third Intention had his prep race for the Greatwood Handicap Hurdle at Ascot on Saturday. He came round the bend looking like he was going to be really involved in the finish but he needed the run.
“A few of mine have needed an outing this season. I thought that he needed a run under his belt in order to be competitive in a really hot handicap and Saturday’s race proved it.
“He came out of the race fine and I hope that it will have put him spot on for a week on Sunday.”
After chasing home Menorah in the Grade Two Stanjames.com International Hurdle at The International in December, the five-year-old returned to Cheltenham to finish fourth in the Grade One Stan James Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at The Festival .
Cue Card opened his account over fences with a comfortable success in a two and a half-mile novices’ chase at Chepstow on October 8. He has the option of the £17,000 Steel Plate And Sections Novices’ Chase (4.05pm) over the same distance on the Friday of The Open, or Sunday’s £23,500 Grade Two Independent Newspaper Novices’ Chase (1.10pm) over two miles.
The Dorset handler continued: “The plan is for Cue Card to head to The Open. He will be entered in the two and half-mile novices’ chase on the Friday and the two-miler on the Sunday.
“We will enter him in both just to cover ourselves and I am probably leaning towards the longer race at the moment, but we might just have a look at the two-mile option.
“He has loads of pace but it’s in my mind that the field quickened off the bend at The Festival in March and left him, so he might be better over a longer trip at the end of the season.
“He always runs enthusiastically in his races and I am sure that he will do so again next week.”
The Open involves 18 races over three days as well as the Greatwood Charity Sweepstake, which concludes the event at 4.10pm on Sunday, November 13.
The weights for the Greatwood Handicap Hurdle and the £150,000 BetVictor Gold Cup (2.35pm), highlight of Saturday’s card, are released on Wednesday, November 2.
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