Although next year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup may be the main aim for Colin Tizzard and Thistlecrack, the champion trainer is under no illusions as to just how much work the reigning World Hurdle winner will have to do in order to be ready for the famous meeting in March. Eight-year-old Thistlecrack won the recent mallardjewellers.com Novices Chase at Cheltenham, his second successive chasing victory, however he demonstrated his inexperience with some erratic jumping.
Although Thistlecrack saw off Marinero among others far easier than the three and a half length margin suggests, Tizzard gave an honest assessment of his prized asset post-race, stating that Thistlecrack is ‘not the finished article’. Having made a successful start to life over fences, Thistlecrack has unsurprisingly been installed as the favourite for the Gold Cup in the horse racing odds among bookmakers.
Meanwhile 2015 Gold Cup winner Coneygree has returned to action following a severe injury recently, and trainer Mark Bradstock is hoping that the nine-year-old can earn a £1 million Jockey Club bonus for winning the Betfair Chase, King George and Gold Cup hat-trick. Coneygree is the 9/4 second favourite for the Betfair on November 19th at bookmakers Coral, with the fact that Cue Card is the favourite at 13/8 meaning that some question whether Bradstock’s horse will have the legs after such a long absence.
Coneygree also finds himself as the 7/1 second favourite for the 2017 Gold Cup with Coral, behind Thistlecrack, with the likes of Douvan, Don Cossack and Don Poli all in the running. However, it still remains to be seen as to how trainers such as Willie Mullins and Oliver Sherwood will play their cards, with 2015 Grand National winner Many Clouds set for a return to action
at Aintree in December ahead of another crack at the famous race in April.
Having failed to become the first horse since Red Rum in 1974 to successfully defend his Grand National title, Many Clouds is at 25/1 in the horse racing odds with Coral for next year’s race. Having finished as runner up to surprise winner Rule The World back in April, The Last Samuri heads the betting with Coral, with Kim Bailey looking to see off the likes of The Young Master, Vincente and Rogue Angel, all of whom are currently among the favourites in the horse racing odds at Coral.