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Newbury preview: Long Distance Hurdle (14.25)

David Metcalf | November 27, 2015

Trainer Colin Tizzard has his team in good nick and Thistlecrack can provide him with another big race winner in the Grade 2 Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury (14.25).

The seven-year-old showed progressive form last season, and relished the step up to 3m when running out the wide margin winner of the Grade 1 Sefton Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree.

Thistlecrack made steady progress from the rear to take up the running two from home and was one length clear at the last when nearest rival Alpha Des Obeaux fell.

THISTLECRACK with T Scudamore wins Sefton Novice Hurdle at Aintree 10-4-15.

That allowed the gelding to saunter home by 13 lengths from the very well regarded Vyta Du Roc.

It was a most taking performance and Thistlecrack backed it up with a cracking 1/2 a length second to Killultagh Vic in a Grade 1 contest at the Punchestown Festival when last seen in action.

Based on those performances, he is a staying hurdler going places, and Thistlecrack can make the most of the 4lb he receives from main rivals Cole Harden and Whisper to make a winning reappearance in the hands of jockey Tom Scudamore.

Cole Harden is handy, Whisper will be dangerous

Cole_Harden_Whisper

Cole Harden is a tough and genuine sort trained by Warren Greatex, who put in a tremendous performance when winning the World Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival back in March.

The seven-year-old made all and stayed on strongly to beat Saphir Du Rheu by 3 1/4 lengths, and had Whisper a further 7 1/2 lengths back in fifth.

Judged on that success, Cole Harden is a major player, but he was unable to confirm the form with Whisper when runner-up to that rival in the Liverpool Hurdle at Aintree when last seen in action.

Whisper scored cosily by 3 1/2 lengths, and there is little to choose between the Nicky Henderson trained gelding and Cole Harden on the pick of their form.

The soft ground may swing things in favour of Cole Harden on this occasion, but Thistlecrack remains open to further progress and can take both their scalps.

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Check out our horse racing section for other racecard previews and big race betting.

Coral’s top tip: Thistlecrack ended last season on a serious upward curve and, in receipt of 4lb from Cole Harden and Whisper, looks decent value to make a winning return.