Tizzard targets Kempton repeat
Trainer Colin Tizzard is confident that Thistlecrack will be in good shape to target a repeat victory in the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day.
Thistlecrack had been out of action for more than 300 days before making his return at Newbury on Friday, where he showed up well before fading late on to finish in fifth place in the Long Distance Hurdle.
However, Tizzard was content with the outing, feeling that expectations placed on his charge had perhaps been a bit too high.
He told Racing UK: "When he had the little tear in his tendon, he had two months in the box, then he went out in the field for four months, then he came in and was walking for two months, so he has only been galloping for two months and it just showed at the end.
"When he went between the third-last and the second-last, I thought 'he's going to win this', but he blew up.
"He's a big, heavy horse and when you reflect on the last ten months it's perfectly acceptable and we'll push on now to the King George.
"We were talking a good story and on reflection we were probably taking him up too much."
Tizzard has won the King George VI Chase in each of the last two years, with Cue Card preceding Thistlecrack in winning the Kempton feature.
Thistlecrack is currently 7.00 to win the King George VI Chase for a second successive season, with Might Bite 2.50 and Bristol De Mai 5.00.
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