World Hurdle hero Thistlecrack’s odds shorten for 2017 Gold Cup glory
David Metcalf | Updated October 24, 2016
World hero Thistlecrack looks pure Gold
Thistlecrack produced a remarkable performance when running away with a strongly-run renewal of the Ryanair World Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, and is now 6/1 (from 7/1, earlier 10/1) with Coral for next year’s Gold Cup after connections revealed that the plan was for him now to go chasing, making his debut at Chepstow on October 25.
The Colin Tizzard trained eight-year-old was always travelling powerfully under jockey Tom Scudamore and was still on the bridle turning for home, having seen off every one of his rivals bar Alpha Des Obeaux, who was being asked for his effort as the pair hit the home straight.
However, he had no answer to Thistlecrack’s power as the winner surged clear on the run to the last and he stormed up the hill to record an effortless seven-length victory.
It was the most breathtaking win in the race ever seen and, judged on it, Thistlecrack could rule in it for years to come.
Owners keen to go down chasing route
However, owners John and Heather Snook are keen to send their superstar over the larger obstacles next season with the Cheltenham Gold Cup his ultimate target.
Speaking on The Morning Line the day after Thistlecrack’s awesome display, assistant trainer Joe Tizzard said: “He’ll definitely have a go over fences next season and if it doesn’t work he can come back over hurdles.
“We buy horses for the Gold Cup and so do the owners, so we’ll definitely have a go.
“We’ve schooled him over fences already and he was very good and we were half tempted to go this season but we thought we have a crack against the best over hurdles and see how he went.”
Speed and stamina mark Thistlecrack out as something special
It looks the correct move in my eyes, as Thistlecrack is built like a chaser and has the potent attributes of speed and stamina.
The gelding’s ability to travel so strongly and then quicken instantly when asked marks him out as something very special indeed.
If all goes to plan, there is little doubt in my mind that Thistlecrack will be a major Gold Cup contender come next March.