Cheltenham Gold Cup favourite Thistlecrack ruled out through injury


Thistlecrack, brilliant victor of the King George VI Chase and hot favourite for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, is out of the meeting after suffering a tendon injury.

Thistlecrack took a dominant win in the King George VI Chase at Kempton Park on Boxing Day after storming away from stable-mate Cue Card, and it's only defeat over fences came against Many Clouds, who tragically died shortly after winning the Cotsworld Chase last month, having suffered a pulmonary haemorrhage. He had a bit of heat in his leg (Monday night) and was a bit sore.

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He suffered defeat in the Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham at the end of January in tragic circumstances as former Grand National victor Many Clouds collapsed and died of exhaustion after holding off Thistlecrack's late challenge.

Tizzard said: 'Thistlecrack is out for the season, unfortunately. "The vet scanned him this morning and it's a slight tendon tear", Tizzard was quoted as saying by the Racing Post.

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Liam Glynn added: "Last year's runner-up Djakadam has been a popular each way bet already with punters and with the son of Saint Des Saints going fresh to Cheltenham, we are keen to keep him on side as he bids to finally break Willie Mullins' duck in the race". We've got to stop and that's that.

Thistlecrack will not run in the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup after sustaining a leg injury, leaving the door open for the Festival showcase in a few weeks' time (17 March).

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Despite the shock news, Tizzard still has a formidable hand for the Festival showpiece.