Thistle Holds Trump Card At Kempton
This Christmas is all about one thing and that’s the clash of Cue Card and Thistlecrack in the King George at Kempton.
Tizzard Has Cracked It
Josses Hill has been supplemented, Tea For Two was a Grade 1 winner at the meeting last year and Silviniaco Conti has been a great servant for his connections over the years so the rest of the King George field are classy horses in their own right but this revolves around Cue Card and Thistlecrack and in this corner I’m firmly in the Thistlecrack camp.
Now into EVS favourite with BoyleSports, we waited a long time for a novice to win the Gold Cup again when Coneygree triumphed in 2015 and now Thistlecrack is looking to plot that same path in 2017 but first a tilt at the King George, one of the most prestigious races in the calendar and standing in his way is a stable companion who does little wrong.
Cue Card, for some people, would have beaten Don Cossack in the Gold Cup if he stood up, but that’s simply something we’ll never know. Either way he did look in the form of his life last season and you couldn’t but be very impressed with his win at Haydock last time out.
However, in Thistlecrack we have a very special horse. His form over hurdles is rock solid, his starts over fences has been the subject of debate in relation to his jumping but this is his fourth outing over the larger obstacles now and…
with just four rivals and a good pace, the King George actually looks set to bring out the very best in him.
There will be no hiding places. A good gallop is almost a given and you’ve two high class animals fighting for supremacy, but unbeaten since winning the Long Distance Hurdle last year, Thistlecrack can keep that going into the new year and firm up his place as the Gold Cup favourite and his status as a novice will be an irrelevant fact by Monday evening.
The Christmas One
Also at Kempton on Monday is the Christmas Hurdle where again it looks to be down to Yanworth and The New One with the latter getting the nod to score again over hurdles.
Nigel Twiston-Davies had planned on sending the eight-year-old over fences this season but the weather got in the way of that and now he looks set to continue over hurdles this season. He is never going to be up to winning a Champion Hurdle now but this renewal of the Christmas Hurdle could well go the way of The New One.
Yanworth’s form behind Yorkhill in the Neptune looks decent. He was impressive as a novice last year and he’s sure to come on from his winning start to the campaign at Ascot but…
The New One is battle hardened and a tough nut to pass.
He can follow up his defeat of My Tent Or Yours by beating the JP McManus duo and give his connections plenty of compensation for not getting over fences this year.
The New One – 2.40 Kempton
Thistlecrack – 3.15 Kempton
*Prices correct at time of publication.