Cue Card is the new Cheltenham Gold Cup favourite following the withdrawal of his stablemate and ante post favourite, Thistlecrack, due to a tendon tear.
Thistlecrack had established himself as the new star of jump’s racing with four wins from his five starts over fences, having won last season’s World Hurdle.
Cue Card, who drifted to 20/1 for the Gold Cup with Betfair after finishing second to Thistlecrack in the King George VI Chase at Kempton back on Boxing Day, which we commented at the time was an overreaction, is now no bigger than 10/3 with Coral.
The biggest question is whether the 11-year-old – who fell three out when in with every chance last year – can defy the age barrier to win jump racing’s biggest prize.
No horse older than 10 has won the Gold Cup since What A Myth in 1969 – although Cue Card has been bucking trends throughout his career and looked anything but a veteran when he swept to 15-length victory in the Betfair Chase earlier this month.
That was the ninth Grade One success of his remarkable career, dating back to his win in the Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival a full seven years ago and including another Festival victory in the 2013 Ryanair Chase.
Trainer Colin Tizzard also saddles the Gold Cup second favourite – in the impressive Welsh Grand National winner Native River – who can be backed at 7/2 with Betfred.
Meanwhile, Djakadam, who finished second in the Gold Cup in 2015 to Coneygree and then last year to Don Cossack, is now the third favourite at 11/2 with Bet365.