Tizzard keen to get Thistle started

Trainer Colin Tizzard is praying for rain to allow Thistlecrack to make his chasing debut at Chepstow next month.

Thistlecrack: Could be aimed at the Cheltenham Gold Cup

Last season's star staying hurdler is set to embark on a career over fences this season and is already favourite with some bookmakers for the Cheltenham Gold Cup next March.

Tizzard reports his eight-year-old in fine form ahead of his intended return in the two-mile-three-furlong totequadpot Novices' Chase on October 8, a race the Dorset-based trainer won with Cue Card on his chasing bow five years ago.

Native River was third in the same contest last season before going on to win at Grade Two and Grade One level before the end of his campaign.

Tizzard said: "Thistlecrack is absolutely fine and he's doing plenty of work.

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"We just hope there's plenty of rain in the next few weeks as we'd want good or good to soft ground to be going to Chepstow or Exeter or somewhere like that with him.

"We hope to get there (Chepstow) as it's a nice place to start and it's a race we've run Cue Card and Native River in before.

"He's fine over two and a half (miles) – he's not a slow coach – and it will probably be better for him to start off over that sort of trip."

Tizzard also confirmed Cue Card on course to make his return to action in the Charlie Hall Chase on October 29.

The 10-year-old landed the West Yorkshire feature last season before going on to win the Betfair Chase at Haydock and the King George VI Chase at Kempton.

Dreams of completing the Jockey Club Chase Triple Crown and landing a potential #1million bonus in the process were dashed when he fell at the third-last in the Gold Cup, but he bounced back to win at Aintree, and Tizzard is delighted with his current condition.

"He's right on target for the Charlie Hall," said the trainer.

"We could run him in a fortnight if we wanted to. We're very happy with him."

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