Thistlecrack: World Hurdle winner is ante-post favourite for the Gold Cup
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
THE RAIN arrived at Chepstow on Monday, with more expected overnight, to leave trainer Colin Tizzard satisfied to let Thistlecrack loose for his debut over fences on Tuesday.
Last season’s World Hurdle winner will face four rivals and 18 fences in the 2m7f131y novice chase at 3.35.
1.5mm of rain fell on Monday morning, with up to a further 10mm expected to fall overnight. The ground is currently described as good but Tizzard said: “It’s raining and it’s going to be absolutely fine. I’m not 20 miles from Chepstow at the moment and it’s pouring down, so I’m sure it will be fine there too. We’re going there expecting to run.
“He’s in lovely form and has done plenty of work with him in the last fortnight. He’s fit enough and he’s schooled well so let’s get on with it.”
Odds-on to win by 25 lengths
Thistlecrack is a best-priced 1-7 to win in South Wales, but BetVictor go 4-6 about the eight-year-old’s chances of hammering his rivals by a distance of 25 lengths or more. His biggest margin of victory last season was a twelve-length success in the Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham in January.
Meanwhile, news of his intended first start over fences has also seen him draw market support for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, with Coral cementing him as favourite after cutting him from 7-1 into 6-1 for the Festival showpiece.
BetVictor spokesman Jack Milner said: “It is staggering to think Thistlecrack, as brilliant as he was over timber, heads the market for the Gold Cup despite yet to jump a fence in public but he has been strongly supported since entering the market for jump racing’s blue riband at 16/1 in the spring, and will prove popular [tomorrow] with lengthen the odds punters.”
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