Cue Card, one of the most exciting prospects for the new National Hunt season, got his hurdling career off to a bright start at Aintree yesterday when running out an impressive winner of a 2m 4f novice hurdle.
The 4 year-old, trained by Colin Tizzard and ridden by his son Joe, created a huge impression when hacking up at 40/1 in the Weatherby's Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival.
With the fifth and sixth horses home, Megastar and Dare Me, filling the first two places in the John Smith's Champion Bumper at Aintree's Grand National meeting, the form has a solid look to it.
Unbeaten now in all three of his races, the King's Theatre gelding has yet to be extended, but Tizzard senior is not getting carried away just yet, saying:" He's exciting, but there's a lot of responsibility that goes with it.
" He could go to Cheltenham an three weeks time as he hasn't taken anything out of himself."
With a view to the 2011 Cheltenham Festival, Cue Card is quoted for several races, and uncertainty still prevails regarding the most likely target.
6/1 For the Neptune Novices' Hurdle with most bookmakers, but William Hill, who are offering new online and phone customers a free £30 bet, are a standout 7/1 for the 5f shorter Supreme Novices' Hurdle.
With the horse yet to be really tested, many bookmakers are already offering quotes for the Champion Hurdle in March.
A general 33/1 shot behind 2010 winner Binocular on 3/1, the Tizzard gelding appears to be a natural jumper and with that in mind the temptation to go for the Championship event may be too strong.