Thistlecrack to triumph in Long Distance Hurdle?
Thistlecrack makes his long awaited return in the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury on Friday.
He has already won the Long Distance Hurdle in 2015. On that occasion hew on by an impressive 6 length on ground that is likely to be very similar to the going tomorrow.
Incredibly since April 2015 Thistlecrack has only tasted defeat on a racecourse twice. Once was by half a length and the other occasion by a head by the much missed Many Clouds. That was his last appearance on a racecourse and was nearly 10 months ago.
He has won 5 consecutive Class 1 hurdle races and is certainly the most impressive horse in the field. The major question is whether or not he is fully revved up and prepared for this race. Or is this just a prep for the King George later in the month?
Long Distance Hurdle Contenders?
Whilst there is a field of 8 in the Long Distance Hurdle I believe that only 3 of the field have a realistic chance of winning the prize.
Unowhatimeanharry comes here in sparkling form. Since joining Harry Fry he has won 10 of 11 races. This includes the Long Distance Hurdle 2016. The main issue that I have is that he has not encountered a horse of the class of Thistlecrack before. His only defeat under Harry Fry came at the Cheltenham Festival in the Stayers Hurdle where he finished 12l behind Nichols Canyon.
Whilst Unowhatimeanharry is rated 167 over hurdles Thistlecrack was last rated 174. Despite that Unowhatimeanharry has to give 6lb away to his main market rival and this could prove to be too much.
The major advantage that he has over his market rival is race fitness. He has ran at Aintree already this season and won easily albeit in a small field.
If for some reason the top 2 were to cut each others throats then Wholestone is the horse most likely to pick up the pieces. Although another runner in the field Colin’s Sister beat him that day both horses had Lil Rockefeller and Ptit Zig behind them which has franked the form. I just feel that Wholestone will come on better for the run that day and that Newbury will suit him more than Wetherby did.
Tip of the Day
LONG DISTANCE HURDLE TIP OF THE DAY - UNOWHATIMEANHARRY TO CONTINUE WITH HIS WINNING RUN AND RETAIN THE LONG DISTANCE HURDLE, GENERALLY AVAILABLE AT 7/4