Horse racing: Thistle’ worth a crack at next year’s Gold Cup

Thistlecrack, ridden by Tom Scudamore,winning The Cleeve Hurdle Hurdle Race during the Festival Trials Day at Cheltenham last month.
Thistlecrack, ridden by Tom Scudamore,winning The Cleeve Hurdle Hurdle Race during the Festival Trials Day at Cheltenham last month.
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TRAINER Colin Tizzard believes World Hurdle favourite Thistlecrack could be lining up in the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup next March.

Despite his limited racecourse experience with the eight-year-old only having had 12 runs in his life, Tizzard would be quite happy to forego a novice campaign due to his age.

Having already schooled at home, the Dorset handler is excited about the prospect, with Thistlecrack 10-1 for the 2017 Gold Cup and joint favourite with Douvan.

“I actually spoke about it with John and Heather (Snook, owners) the other night,” said Tizzard.

“Winning three-mile hurdles is absolutely fine and you wouldn’t take that away from any horse, but the ultimate aim is to win a Gold Cup.

“I’m sure if he carries on like he is and ends the season sound, John and Heather will want to go for a Gold Cup and I don’t see any reason why he shouldn’t.

“It’s not like he’s been around for years, he’s only like a novice hurdler, so I think that is what will happen next year.

“You watch his jumping, his technique is fantastic. He jumps anything you put in front of him. We schooled him over fences last year and he was good at it.

“We’ve got to get this season out of the way first – we all know what can go wrong with horses – but it’d be lovely to think we could try to win a Gold Cup with him next year.

“I think the Gold Cup is the greatest race, the Grand National is a handicap. For me, and most people in racing, it’s the pinnacle and I’m sure that’s the route he’ll take.”

n Both today’s meeting at Ludlow and tomorrow’s card at Taunton were abandoned yesterday due to waterlogging.

Today’s planned meeting at Limerick has also been abandoned but there are no anticipated problems at Doncaster ahead of tomorrow’s card with the going described as soft.


DONCASTER: 1.45 Kings Apollo, 2.20 Rock On Oscar, 2.55 Winter Escape, 3.30 Whataknight, 4.05 Volnay De Thaix, 4.40 Mazovian.

CHELMSFORD: 5.10 Celtic Artisan, 5.40 Camdora (treble), 6.10 Nuno Tristan, 6.40 Whispering Warrior, 7.10 Cultured Knight (next best), 7.40 Primrose Brown, 8.10 YOU’RE A GOAT (NAP).

HUNTINGDON: 1.55 Market Option, 2.30 Different Gravey, 3.05 Castle Cheetah, 3.40 Premier Bond, 4.15 Bawden Rocks, 4.50 My Khaleesi.

Waiting Patiently and Brian Hughes (right) lead Cue Card and Paddy Brennan away from the last fence before going on to win The Betfair Ascot Steeple Chase Race run during The Betfair Ascot Chase Raceday at Ascot.

I think dad would be crying now: Emotional Jefferson after Waiting Patiently wins at Ascot