Thistlecrack 5/1 favourite to return for the 2017/18 season and land the Gold Cup for trainer Colin Tizzard
Thistlecrack was unable to take his place in the 2017 Gold Cup, although the Colin Tizzard should be fit and ready to go for the 2017/18 National Hunt season. The winner of the King George in December is currently trading at 5/1 with Ladbrokes and we might expect that price to shorten if the 2016 Cheltenham World Hurdle winner produces the sort of performance level that had the horse trading at short odds to win the 2017 Gold Cup.
However, Thistlecrack was beaten by the ill-fated Many Clouds earlier in the season at Prestbury Park, with Sizing John likely to be a tricky horse to beat if trainer Jessie Harrington can keep her charge fit after a wonderful win at the Festival in March. The Gold Cup champion is an 8/1 shot with bet365 and could yet improve after beating Native River, Djakadam and Cue Card in the 2017 renewal.
Yorkhill has come as short as 8/1 with bet365 following a win in the JLT Novices’ Chase, although the Graham Wylie horse is far from certain to be aimed at this race, with Willie Mullins maybe considering a shot at either the Champion Chase or the Ryanair Chase next March. It’s a quirky animal and whether he would get the Gold Cup trip remains to be seen.
Might Bite has been the subject of a gamble in recent days, with the horse being trimmed from 14/1 to 10/1 in places as talk continues that we might have a future Gold Cup champion on our hands. The Nicky Henderson horse was brilliant when winning the RSA Chase despite a wobble towards the end of the race which saw him drift towards the stands before rallying to win.
Might Bite is a 12/1 shot to win this race, although there are likely to be plenty of lively contenders, with Native River trading at 12/1 with bet365 and the Welsh horse produced a creditable performance when finishing third in the 2017 Gold Cup.
Douvan is a 12/1 poke with bet365 although seems likely to remain travelling over two miles and attempt to win a first Queen Mother Champion Chase following the sustaining of an injury early during the 2017 renewal.
It might appear that Cue Card has run in his last ever Gold Cup following another fall under Paddy Brennan, while Willie Mullins suggested that Djakadam might drop back in trip after failing to stay when Sizing John hacked up.