Tuesday, 25 July, 2017

Chasing Plan for World Hurdle Winner Thistlecrack

Chasing Plan for World Hurdle Winner Thistlecrack Chasing Plan for World Hurdle Winner Thistlecrack
Spencer Simpson | 26 September, 2016, 11:51

Despite there still being a substantial amount to play for in the remainder of this year’s horse racing season, the 2017 Cheltenham Festival is already at the forefront of the thoughts of trainers across the world, with the news that brilliant World Hurdle winner Thistlecrack will begin chasing next year coming as welcome news to horse racing fans. Five consecutive wins last season, including successes at both Cheltenham and Aintree, now mean that trainer Colin Tizzard is seeking a new challenge for Thistlecrack, and the eight-year-old looks set to make his chasing debut at Chepstow next month.

As a result of such news, Thistlecrack joins Willie Mullins’ Vautour as the early favourite in the Cheltenham 2017 odds at Betway for the Gold Cup, with the duo both being backed at 7/1. Meanwhile, the expected absence of last year’s winner from the World Hurdle could well open the door for American jumper Rawnaq, with the former Irish trained nine-year-old having won six races for Matthew Smith, including the Flyingbolt novice at Navan before switching to the other side of the Atlantic for the remainder of the season. However, odds of 33/1 from Betway show that there is still a lot of work to be done, with the likes of Faugheen and Annie Power more likely winners, with respective odds of 4/1 and 5/1. Looking ahead at the odds for Cheltenham 2017 certainly make for interesting reading, even at this early stage.

With last year’s races at Cheltenham being dominated by the favourites, with Douvan, Vroum Vroum Mag, Vautour, Thistlecrack, Limini, and On The Fringe all coming out on top having been short priced, it remains to be seen how many surprises we will see this time around, with the Cheltenham 2017 odds at Betway currently being made up of last season’s success stories.

However, this is perhaps not the route to go for punters who are again looking to beat the bookmakers, with the Supreme Novices' Hurdle the perfect example. The race has been a poor breeding ground for future champion hurdlers in recent history, with only 2004 winner Brave Inca going on to claim subsequent Champion Hurdle success this century. Despite 2016 winner Alitor being priced favourably at 10/1 in the Cheltenham 2017 odds at Betway, you just have to look at the likes of Al Ferof, Champagne Fever, Vautour, and Douvan for examples of what happens the season after a victory.  

The Neptune Novices’ Hurdle looks set to provide better odds this year, with Ballandy and Battleford currently best priced to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Istabraq, Hardy Eustace, and of course, Faugheen.

 

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