Perfect start for Thistlecrack

Thistlecrack made a winning start to his chase career in the Aspen Waite Complete Business Growth Service Novices' Chase at Chepstow.

Thistlecrack impressed on his chase bow

The World Hurdle winner was sent off at just 1/6 to beat his four rivals in the staying contest and was soon in front under Tom Scudamore who set a sensible gallop.

Tracked by Saddlers Encore and Aqalim, the eight-year-old jumped well in the main and took the field along as the pace quickened slightly going out onto the final circuit.

He put in a couple of impressive leaps on the far side and was taking lengths out of his rivals as Scudamore pushed him into a clear advantage heading into the final turn.

Thistlecrack turned for home several lengths to the good with Scudamore sneaking a look behind for dangers and the field did close up again by the first fence in the straight.

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They were all hard at work though unlike Thistlecrack who got in a little close two out as Aqalim attempted to lay down a challenge but he never got the winner off the bridle as he cantered over the line for an impressive success.

"He was fantastic wasn't he? He did everything that we asked of him all the way through," the winning rider told At The Races.

"He was neat and nimble. Chasing's always been his game but no matter what you do with him at home, it's on the course that matters and I've ridden plenty of horses that have been naturals at home and you wouldn't believe they've ever seen an obstacle by the time you get on a course and vice versa.

"He can do things that other horses can't even dream of and he's just phenomenal. It's wonderful being associated with him."

"I don't think the horse was nervous at all," joked Tizzard.

"When he got in tight once he was really, really good," he continued. "It was a beautiful performance.

"This is just a start, a real good school round. The plan was for two novice chases and then Cheltenham. I think we need another novice and then……after that I think he can do what he wanted to be fair."

Sky Bet left Thistlecrack unchanged at 6/1 for the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup.

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