Turf Talk: Champion staying hurdler Thistlecrack targets Chepstow for debut over fences

Thistlecrack, ridden by Tom Scudamore.
Thistlecrack, ridden by Tom Scudamore.
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Thistlecrack could make his eagerly-awaited debut over fences at Chepstow on Tuesday if the ground is suitable.

Trainer Colin Tizzard reports last season’s champion staying hurdler to be ready to return to action but will only run him if he is satisfied with the conditions at the Welsh venue.

He has given Thistlecrack an entry in the Aspen Waite Complete Business Growth Service Novices’ Chase over just short of three miles.

“We’ve entered him in the three-mile novice chase at Chepstow,” said Tizzard.

“If it rains and it’s proper winter ground, he’ll be there.

“The horse is ready, we’re just waiting for the ground now.”

The going at Chepstow on Wednesday morning was described as good, good to soft in places following five millimetres of rain on Tuesday.

The weather is expected to be dry up to Sunday with showers forecast from then on.

l Next month’s Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown appears the most likely comeback target for Annie Power.

The Willie Mullins-trained eight-year-old became the first mare in 22 years to claim Champion Hurdle glory at Cheltenham in March and was even more dominant when following up at Aintree.

With last year’s Champion Hurdle hero Faugheen set to return to action this season, having been unable to defend his crown at Prestbury Park due to injury, Mullins will need to split his aces and he could make his return in the Hatton’s Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse.

“Annie Power is in good order and all is well with her,” the trainer told the At The Races website.

“She’ll be going down the Champion Hurdle route and we have the Morgiana Hurdle pencilled in as a possibility for her return.

“Faugheen is in good shape and his starting point will be either the Morgiana or the Hatton’s Grace.”

SOBOT’S SELECTIONS

CHELTENHAM: 2.10 Stowaway Magic, 2.45 Aristo Du Plessis, 3.20 Ballinure, 3.55 Shantou Village, 4.30 First Drift, 5.05 What Happens Now, 5.40 L’Aigle Royal.

DONCASTER: 1.30 Soldier’s Girl, 2.00 Ouja, 2.35 Radjash, 3.10 Mirage Dancer (next best), 3.45 BLAINE (NAP), 4.20 Not Never, 4.55 Al Neksh, 5.30 Hardington.

NEWBURY: 1.20 Sea Skimmer, 1.50 Black Bolt, 2.25 Commander, 3.00 Kullu, 3.35 Cloudberry (treble), 4.10 Evening Attire, 4.45 Snowy Dawn, 5.20 Knight Of The Air.

WOLVERHAMPTON: 5.50 Lady Vellyn, 6.20 Pavela, 6.50 Andrassy Avenue, 7.20 Testimonio, 7.50 Simply Me, 8.20 Paradise Palm, 8.50 Free To Roam, 9.20 Wootton Vale.

Trainer, Hugo Palmer.

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