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Huge news has just echoed across the lands as we learn the mighty Thistlecrack is out for the season. The Colin Tizzard trained superstar was the clear favourite for the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup at the time of his withdrawal. Last season’s World Hurdle winner had an unblemished record over fences this season until he met the mighty Many Clouds in the Grade 2 Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham last month. It was the first time Tom Scudamore had to get serious on the horse so it potentially took it’s toll on him in the build up to the big race next month.
Colin Tizzard discovered that he had heat in his leg last night and he called the vet immediately. The vet arrived this morning and discovered that there was a slight tendon tear which will put him out of action for a good few weeks, minimum. Luckily we should see the star grace our eyes again but sadly it won’t be for the biggest race of them all. Let us all hope they get him back to the racetrack in one piece for next season as he will be a huge loss to the festival.
This is just one of a huge number of blows to the Cheltenham Festival this season. There will be a real lack of real stars running at Prestbury Park next month and it certainly has put a dampener on proceedings, to say the very least. We lost the mighty Vautour (RIP) a few months ago in what was a tragic freak accident. Both Annie Power and Faugheen were ruled out of the festival whilst Arkle second favourite Min was also ruled out by the Mullins camp, who have had a tough season to date. We also will miss out on Coneygree, who won the Gold Cup as a novice two years ago for the Bradstock’s. Identity Thief was another recent casualty to the Arkle line-up for Henry De Bromhead whilst antepost favourite for the Champion Bumper Getabird was another ruled out for Rich Ricci and Mr Mullins.
Gold Cup Ante Post Market
Now that our Gold Cup favourite is out of the big race in three weeks time, what has that done to the prices of the other runners in the field? Colin Tizzard amazingly still trains the first two in the market; Native River leads the betting at 3/1 and Cue Card follows him in as the 4/1 second favourite. The forgotten horse so to speak, Djakadam, is now best priced 11/2 and he has to be feared in this line-up, after all he was second to Coneygree and Don Cossack in this contest the past two seasons and he is still a young horse. The horse who was fed up of looking at Douvan’s rear end, Sizing John, is best priced 10/1 along with the Gigginstown House Stud owned Lexus winner Outlander. It is 16/1 bar the rest.
The big four races at Cheltenham Festival are known as the “Championship Races” and we have tips, previews and trends for all 4!
Tuesday – Champion Hurdle
Wednesday – Champion Chase
Thursday – Stayers’ Hurdle
Friday – Cheltenham Gold Cup