Thistlecrack shines in Worcester

Gold Cup hope Thistlecrack followed in the steps of Native River when winning the bet365 Novices' Chase at Newbury.

Tom Scudamore looks round for non-existent dangers

His stablemate was a relative outsider at 8/1 when beating Un Temps Pour Tout in the Grade Two contest 12 months ago but defeat for Thistlecrack at 1/8 would have been hard to countenance.

Last year's leading staying hurdler has taken well to fences, winning at Chepstow and Cheltenham, and continued his education with another impressive success in a race registered as the Worcester Novices' Chase.

Second favourite Ibis Du Rheu tried to ensure that he didn't have everything his own way with Nick Scholfield driving the chasing debutant up on Thistlecrack's inside but the eight-year-old had reasserted as they jumped the cross fence for the second time.

Bigbadjohn tried to hang on to their coat tails in the straight and passed Ibis Du Rheu before the last but Scudamore was never worried and allowed his mount to coast home.

Thistlecrack is the 7/2 favourite for the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup with Sky Bet and 8/1 with the same firm for the RSA Chase.

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Winning trainer Colin Tizzard confirmed that Thistlecrack is likely to remain in novice company for the time being saying hat he'd 'like to stay against the novices until after Christmas'.

"He learned plenty from Cheltenham and whatever schooling you do at home they still have to do it on the racecourse," Tizzard said.

"He was right on his game and is probably just about getting fit now. You could not dream of it going any better, but as he was 1/8 you half-expect it.

"I can't believe I am talking about these sorts of horse, it's lovely for us as a family yard and it just shows it can be done.

"The King George is a real test for any horse and I'm not sure he is ready for that yet. We will leave him in it for a while, just in case. All options need to be talked about.

"We've got to mind this horse, as we don't want to go up the ladder six strides at a time and then slip back down."

The Dorset handler continued: "The good thing about him is that he gives the fences plenty of daylight. The first time Tom really asked him was at the last and he was good at that.

"He did look as good as a novice gets."

Scudamore said: "It was a great thrill. He's really learned from that and he keeps on learning. Even at this early stage, he's something different.

"I'm just the lucky man who gets to sit on him."

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