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What's the Thistlecrack? Speculation mounts that former Gold Cup favourite might run after all

Colin Tizzard’s announcement on Sunday night has caused panic in the betting markets.

Tom Scudamore celebrates winning the Ryanair World Hurdle on Thistlecrack.
Tom Scudamore celebrates winning the Ryanair World Hurdle on Thistlecrack.
Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

THISTLECRACK WAS MATCHED as low as 7-1 on Betfair last night amid frenzied speculation that he might still run in the Cheltenham Gold Cup on 17 March.

Last Tuesday, the 2016 World Hurdle winner was ruled out of this year’s festival after a scan showed up a tendon tear.

However, trainer Colin Tizzard announced last night that he would have another scan tomorrow (Tuesday) to — in his own words — “please ourselves.”

This caused many to speculate he could run on St. Patrick’s Day and saw his price drop from 989-1 to as low as 7-1 on some betting exchanges.

Tizzard told the Press Association:

“We are going to scan him again on Tuesday. There was a little tear there, but there is no heat or swelling there now.

We just want to check again, just to please ourselves really. It is not like he is walking around with his leg in a bandage.”

This wouldn’t be the first time a horse has reached nearly four-figures and not only ran at Cheltenham, but won.

Kicking King was discounted from the 2005 Gold Cup a couple of weeks before after working badly and a subsequent dirty scope revealing an infection.

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However, he romped home five lengths clear of Take the Stand to claim the festival’s feature event.

In 2010, Binocular was ruled out of the Champion Hurdle in February with a muscle problem only to turn up at Prestbury Park in March to beat Khyber Kim by 3.5 lengths.

Barry Geraghty ruled out of Cheltenham Festival after fall

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About the author:

Steve O'Rourke

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