Racing Preview: Back Many Clouds to serve it up to Thistlecrack in Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham
January 26, 2017
Recommended Bet: 2.15pm Cheltenham – Many Clouds to win at 6/1 (7.00) Betfair
2.15pm Cheltenham – Many Clouds to win at 6/1 (7.00) Betfair
A hugely anticipated BetBright Trial Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham Festival Trials Day on Saturday sees the return of the spectacular Thistlecrack as he looks to get another win on the board on route to the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March.
This amazing novice chaser was an imperious winner of the King George VI Chase at Kempton Park on Boxing Day, jumping his rivals ragged from the front under Tom Scudamore to land a famous win for trainer Colin Tizzard. He is trading as short as 4/9 favourite with a few online bookmakers and will surely win if producing his best form, but he faces two real top notch chasers in Many Clouds and Smad Place here and the first mentioned rival can put up a big show.
When Thistlecrack won the World Hurdle in impressive fashion at the Cheltenham Festival last season, the option was most certainly there for him to stay hurdling and dominate for years to come. But Colin Tizzard and his sporting owners had other ideas and saw fit to send their star horse on a mission to make up into a Gold Cup horse as a novice chaser this season.
Thistlecrack reappeared early and racked up a trio of fluent novice chase wins, before being sent to Kempton to face his stablemate Cue Card in a select King George field. Thistlecrack jumped like an old hand and was massively impressive in the race, looking like an absolute superstar.
But this racing game is a great leveller and the fact remains that he has only had four starts over fences. All it takes is one mistake at top level to put a horse under immense pressure and in Many Clouds, he faces a top class chaser who really doesn’t know how to run a bad race.
There will be plenty of pace on here and it’ll be interesting to see whether Tom Scudamore adopts the same front running tactics here and indeed if he does will his rivals allow him the same rope.
As a Grand National winner, Many Clouds stays all day. As does Smad Place, so this will be an attritional contest and there will be no hiding places for Thistlecrack. Sure he won the King George last time out, but this is a strong argument to be made that this is his toughest assignment to date and at the prices, Many Clouds looks fair value horse racing tip to cause a minor upset.