Cue Card wins a dramatic King George VI Chase at Kempton

RacingBy Sunday World
Cue Card (right) held off Vautour (right) to win the big one today at Kempton
Cue Card (right) held off Vautour (right) to win the big one today at Kempton

Cue Card won the William Hill King George VI Chase at the fourth time of asking for Colin Tizzard in a pulsating finish at Kempton.

The 9-2 chance has been revitalised this year after surgery on a trapped epiglottis and the nine-year-old had already won the Charlie Hall and Betfair Chase in the early exchanges of this season.

Willie Mullins' Vautour had looked all over the winner after taking over at the head of affairs on the second circuit from dual winner Silviniaco Conti, who disappointed and was pulled up.

Vautour was still on a hard rein with three furlongs to run as the rest were coming under pressure, none more so than the favourite Don Cossack, who to his credit was still in with a chance when he fell at the second-last.

Cue Card looked to be booked for second as Vautour pinged two out under Ruby Walsh, but his stride began to shorten, offering Cue Card a second bite.

Paddy Brennan needed a big leap on Cue Card at the final fence but he got in tight, as did Vautour, and the two gave their all on the run to the line, with Cue Card just getting the verdict.

Al Ferof finished third for the third year in succession, this time for Dan Skelton.

Earlier, Lizzie Kelly rode into the history books when Tea For Two jumped immaculately to win the Kauto Star Novices' Chase at Kempton.

No woman had ridden a Grade One winner of a chase in Britain, but backers of the 9-4 chance never really had an anxious moment.

Kelly kept her mount, trained by stepfather Nick Williams, wide throughout, and bar being interfered with a couple of times when rivals were jumping out to their left, she stayed on strongly to defeat Southfield Royale.

Despite racing keenly throughout the first mile of the race, Tea For Two was able to quicken up when Noel Fehily tried to steal a march turning into the straight.

For a few strides Kelly shook her mount up, but he responded impressively and ended up winning by four lengths, in a race formerly known as the Feltham Chase.

Kelly had nearly landed a Grade One in France when Aubusson was narrowly beaten by Thousand Stars in France and could have been forgiven for thinking her chance had gone.

On this display, however, there will be plenty more big days for Tea For Two and his proud jockey.

Kelly said: "It's awesome, I'm absolutely delighted and to do it on this horse is just fantastic.

"He's always been something we were really proud of and today he has shown everyone what he's worth.

"At two out I thought 'we're going to win the Feltham!'. It's some feeling and he's got some turn of foot in that last half a mile - he's awesome.

"I was worried he didn't switch off as well as I thought he would, but his jumping got me out of a few problems early on."