Friday 21 July 2017

Tizzard eyes Christmas comeback for Thistlecrack

Trainer Colin Tizzard. Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
Trainer Colin Tizzard. Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Nick Robson

Colin Tizzard has reiterated that Thistlecrack will not run in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

The impressive King George VI Chase winner was ruled out of the Cheltenham Festival last week with a torn tendon, but mention at the weekend of a second scan set for this week led to some speculation and his price collapsing on the betting exchanges on Sunday night.

However, Tizzard never mooted the possibility of him running in the blue riband, with a second scan on a tendon injury being common practice among trainers to assess the full extent of the damage once an injured leg has had chance to settle down.

In a statement issued yesterday, Tizzard said: "Thistlecrack's second scan came back exactly the same as the first, as we expected it would. As communicated previously Thistlecrack will not run again this season and all being well we'd expect him to be back at Christmas."

Meanwhile, Kim Bailey is considering the Boylesports Irish Grand National for his Eider Chase runner-up Knockanrawley.

The lightly-raced nine-year-old beat all bar Mysteree over four miles and half a furlong in heavy ground and Bailey said: "He was very tired when he came home, but he had every right to be. The Irish National would have to be a big possibility now."

English jockey George Baker remains in intensive care in a Swiss hospital after a horror fall on the ice at St Moritz on Sunday.

Baker, who won the St Leger last September on Harbour Law, was riding Boomerang Bob for Jamie Osborne on the frozen lake track when the horse was brought down and fatally injured in the first race of the day.

Two other horses came down in the incident but neither they nor their jockeys were seriously injured. Baker was taken to a trauma hospital in Chur and the meeting was abandoned. Following a track inspection, a crack was found in the ice.

The jockey's agent Guy Jewell said: "There's no real update today. He is still intensive care and he's been sleeping a lot. I think it's just day by day."

Irish Independent

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