- Horse Racing
Cue Card thrashes Menorah in Haldon Gold Cup
Cue Card produced a fine round of jumping to land the Haldon Gold Cup Chase at Exeter in impressive fashion.
A small but select field of five went to post and it was Cue Card who advertised his claims for top honours over fences this season with a fabulous display.
Cue Card travelled with exuberance for Joe Tizzard but it did not halt him as he attacked his fences with relish. After initially being harried for the lead by Webberys Dream, Tizzard allowed Cue Card to stride on down the back straight.
His attacking display found out Edgardo Sol, who threw away his chance by jumping repeatedly to his left, while Menorah did not look comfortable at the two-mile pace.
Turning for home, Cue Card had his rivals in trouble and although meeting the fourth last awkwardly, he galloped further clear.
Cue Card measured the last three fences with aplomb and was allowed to coast home in the manner of a horse that will have connections dreaming of bigger things.
Paul Nicholls and Ruby Walsh made an excellent start to the card at Exeter as Atlantic Roller made a winning hurdles debut. The five-year-old showed promise in bumpers and translated that to hurdles at the first time of asking with a slick seven-length win from Gas Line Boy.
Trainer and jockey struck again 30 minutes later, with Landscape - a classy performer on the Flat - stepping up on his hurdles debut at Cheltenham with an impressive performance. The four-year-old travelled with authority for Walsh and pulled away for a ready success.
Nicholls and Walsh suffered a setback as Hinterland was turned over by Theatre Guide, trained by Cue Card's handler Colin Tizzard, in the Gain Horse Feeds Novices' Chase. Hinterland was sent off at 4/9 favourite to make a winning chase debut but he was in trouble from the moment he made a serious mistake at the sixth and was 11 lengths behind Theatre Guide at the line.