Thistlecrack out of Gold Cup with stress fracture

Thistlecrack has been ruled out of the Cheltenham Gold Cup for the second year running following the discovery of a stress fracture in a leg yesterday.

The 10-year-old ran a promising race in the King George at Kempton over Christmasbut had been stiff since then, leading to the discovery of his latest injury.

“We were just getting really excited that the old Thistlecrack was still there and hopeful that he would go to the Gold Cup,” said Kim Tizzard, assistant trainer to her father, Colin.

“Gutted for everybody, gutted for the staff and the owners but we have a horse and hopefully he’ll do his box rest and be all right for next season.

“He was a little bit stiff behind after the King George and today he’s been off and had x-rays and bone scans.”

Thistlecrack ran some way below his best when fourth in the Kempton race a fortnight ago but it was an encouraging effort for a horse coming back from a tendon injury and many pundits felt it made him a contender for the Gold Cup in March, for which he was a 12-1 shot.

The news was a blow to his jockey, Tom Scudamore, who said: “He’d come out of Kempton stiff and sore but they [the Tizzards] said no more than usual.

“I was looking forward to going and having a sit on him in the next couple of weeks. It’s just unfortunate.”

Thistlecrack was heralded as the biggest talent in jump racing after winning the King George in 2016, when he was a novice over fences. That was his ninth consecutive success but he has failed to win since, having injured a tendon in defeat by Many Clouds at Cheltenham the following month. By the time of the Gold Cup next year he will be 11, older than any winner of the race since 1969.

This jumps seasons has taken a difficult turn for the Tizzards, who have also had to rule out their popular Cue Card from a planned race this weekend because of a foot infection. Their star novice chaser Finian’s Oscar has been a beaten favourite in his last two starts but there still appears hope that Native River can prove a Gold Cup candidate when he returns to the track next month.

More in this Section

Tribunal hears tales of aspersions, errors, and poor eyesight

Garda HQ lauded ‘great guy’ that they mistrusted

Clodagh Finn: What happens when #MeToo hashtag hype wears off?

Can an algorithm tell when kids are in danger?

Breaking Stories

Twitter users have been floored by the suggestion Chelsea might be after… Peter Crouch

Ireland's women's side suffer narrow friendly defeat

UCC storm to victory over CIT in Fitzgibbon Cup

Rocket Ronnie crashes out of Masters at hands of Mark Allen


The biggest cancer killer will take your breathe away

Hopefully she had an idea...

Power of the press: Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks discuss 'The Post'

More From The Irish Examiner