Tuesday 27 September 2016

Thistlecrack could head to Punchestown

Marcus Armytage

Published 22/03/2016 | 02:30

Trainer Colin Tizzard says Thistlecrack may go on to the Aintree and Punchestown festivals before the season ends. Photo: Dylan Martinez/Reuters
Trainer Colin Tizzard says Thistlecrack may go on to the Aintree and Punchestown festivals before the season ends. Photo: Dylan Martinez/Reuters

Colin Tizzard has raised the possibility of Thistlecrack, winner of the Ryanair World Hurdle, going on to the Aintree and Punchestown festivals before his season is out.

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The trainer said the eight-year-old, regarded by many as the most impressive winner of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival, had not turned a hair since his victory, although he conceded that there were no easy races at that level.

"As long as the ground is on the soft side of good and he's in good form, I don't see any reason not to take him to Aintree," Tizzard said.

"I know he's had four races already but they have been nicely spaced out and he seems to have come out of Cheltenham very well. He could then go on to Punchestown."

Nicky Henderson, meanwhile, is still contemplating whether to give Sprinter Sacre one more run this season.

It was confirmed yesterday that his next public appearance would be at Lambourn's traditional Good Friday open day, where he will head a parade of Cheltenham heroes in the afternoon.

Henderson said yesterday that he was not ruling out the Celebration Chase at Sandown at the end of the season but hinted strongly that Friday might well be the last chance to see the Champion Chase winner this season.

"It is the only race remotely on the radar," said Henderson, who has always wondered if he took the horse to the well once too often when he completed the impressive Cheltenham-Aintree-Punchestown treble in 2013.

He added that visitors to Seven Barrows between 8.30-1.0 would be able to take 'selfies' with the great horse and he was considering pulling him out of his box every half-hour to give fans a proper look at him.

"There's nothing he enjoys more than pretending he's the Hollywood film star," said Henderson.

"One day he'll be doing supermarkets, so he might as well start practising now."

While this year's Gold Cup winner Don Cossack seems to be on an extended pub crawl around Meath - he was in Trim last night - former winners Coneygree, Bobs Worth and the recently retired Long Run, will also parade in Lambourn with Sprinter Sacre. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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