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Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup
Grade 1, Cheltenham 15:30
£575,000 added,
5yo plus,
3m 2f 70y, Class 1  
Friday 17th March 2017

Thistlecrack to target Gold Cup

Sep 05 Having suffered Gold Cup pain when Cue Card crashed out back in March, trainer Colin Tizzard intends on readying Thistlecrack for the Blue Ribband in 2017.

© Racehorse Photos

Cue Card and Paddy Brennan were in the process of beginning a significant challenge when their partnership came to grief three fences from home in March, as their dreams of Triple Crown glory went to ground in spectacular fashion.

Now ten-years young, Cheltenham specialist Cue Card is 10/1 to come back and land the Cheltenham showpiece next spring.

He could however face a daunting challenge from within Tizzard's own yard in Dorset as World Hurdle winner Thistlecrack is gearing up for a novice chasing campaign that connections hope will lead him to the Gold Cup also.

Unbeaten as a staying hurdler last term, Joe Tizzard – assistant trainer to his father – has revealed that the plan is to send Thistlecrack over the larger obstacles this season.

He could make his bow at Chepstow as early as 8th October in the same novice event that successfully launched Cue Card's chasing career five years ago.

"If it all goes as well as it could do Thistlecrack could definitely be running in the Gold Cup this season," Joe Tizzard told the Racing Post.

"We'll take it step by step, and that's a decision for nearer Christmas, but [owners] the Snooks are very keen on him chasing this season and he could well end up in the Gold Cup. The alternative would be to drop to hurdling and go for the World Hurdle, so we've got options."

Thistlecrack is 7/1 to become the second novice in three years to land the Gold Cup after the Mark Bradstock-trained Coneygree produced a front-running masterclass in 2015.

© Racehorse Photos

Coneygree's victory saw him become the first novice in 41 years to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Having suffered an injury ravaged season last term, the Bradstock team have issued a positive update on his progress and he can be backed at 12/1 to regain his prize next spring.

Should Thistlecrack fail to cut it at the highest level over fences, he retains the option of going back over timber and he is available at 3/1 to retain his World Hurdle crown this season.

Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase 2016
£575,000 added, 5yo plus, 3m 2f 70y, Class 1
9 ran
Going: Good

Pos D Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st Don Cossack (GER) 9/4f B J Cooper
G Elliott 9
2nd Djakadam (FR) 9/2 R Walsh
W P Mullins 7
3rd 10 Don Poli (IRE) 9/2 D N Russell
W P Mullins 7
4th 7 Carlingford Lough (IRE) 25/1 B J Geraghty
J E Kiely 10
5th nse Irish Cavalier (IRE) 66/1 P Townend
Miss R Curtis 7
6th 16 Smad Place (FR) 10/1 Wayne Hutchinson
A King 9
7th 15 O'Faolains Boy (IRE) 40/1 N D Fehily
Miss R Curtis 9
8th On His Own (IRE) 50/1 Mr P W Mullins
W P Mullins 12
F Cue Card 5/2 P J Brennan
C L Tizzard 10
NR Road To Riches (IRE) 12/1 Non Runner
N Meade 9