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Cue Card storms to victory in the Betfair Chase at Haydock

Paddy Brennan with Cue Card

Cue Card also won the Betfair Chase in 2013 and 2015

Cue Card powered away from the 2015 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Coneygree to claim a third victory in the Betfair Chase at Haydock.

The 15-8 favourite, trained by Colin Tizzard, took control at the last fence and won by 15 lengths, with Vezelay (50-1) third.

Jockey Paddy Brennan said: “He’s a dream – a privilege to ride him.”

Cue Card will claim a £1m bonus if he also wins the King George and the Cheltenham Gold Cup this season.

The ten-year-old almost landed the hat-trick last season when winning the Betfair Chase and King George VI Chase before falling in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

“There’s a responsibility to riding a horse like Cue Card,” Brennan told BBC Sport.

“I’m not saying he’s Kauto Star, but he’s got an aura and he’s got a following by so many people that I feel lucky.

“I felt it got away a little in the Gold Cup but after today I think we have a chance of putting that right.

“When I hacked to the start I knew things were going to be different today; he was the Cue Card I know.

“When he’s on that form today you can ride any way you want – he’s different class.”

Coneygree did not go down without a fight on his return from an absence of 377 days.

He led to four out under Richard Johnson, but Cue Card decimated the field with his speed and stamina.

Two-time Betfair Chase winner Silviniaco Conti (13-2) was fourth.

Analysis

Cornelius Lysaght, BBC horse racing correspondent

Defeat at Wetherby in October left some fans of Cue Card a little shaken, but not Colin Tizzard, and that faith was vindicated with a scintillating success over the gallant Coneygree.

Sticking to the inside of the track he put in a command performance, quickly putting the race to bed after leading at the fourth-to-last fence.

Those around him are looking, of course, to the next legs of the Triple Crown, the King George VI Chase and Cheltenham Gold Cup, but particularly Cheltenham after he fell late on there last time. After a lay-off and against a top horse that was race-fit, Coneygree can be said to have run an absolute ‘screamer’ in second.

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Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/horse-racing/38037137