Thistlecrack put in his most impressive display over fences at Newbury on Saturday, to solidify his position at the head of the Cheltenham Gold Cup 2017 betting market.
Last season’s runaway World Hurdle winner has yet to face a stern test over the fences but on his hurdle form alone he has every right to be favourite for the Gold Cup, for which he is best price 7/2 with Bet365.
His trainer Colin Tizzard looks to be the man with all the aces this season – with Native River putting up a commanding performance to win the Hennessy and Cue Card winning another Betfair Chase at Kempton.
While there’s a lot of improvement required from Native River (20/1 Sky Bet) to step up to Gold Cup class he is no forlorn hope to find that, while Cue Card (6/1 Sky Bet) would undoubtedly have gone close last season, but for his fall at the 3rd-last fence.
After his success at Newbury Tizzard said: “I’ve got all the toys at the moment, I can’t believe it – I don’t know how many I will have in the Gold Cup” and Paddy Power are offering odds of 6/4 that he trains the winner in their ‘Cheltenham Festival Specials’.
Of course, Willie Mullins has yet to fire his big guns and, who knows, perhaps stable star Douvan could yet be upped in trip with the allure of jump racing’s biggest prize.
Watch Thistlecrack win his third chase with jockey Tom Scudamore here:
— Racing UK (@Racing_UK) November 26, 2016
And here’s a reminder of Thistlecrack’s brilliant win in last season’s World Hurdle: