Many Clouds To Take On Thistlecrack

What a weekend of racing it's shaping up to be. With high profile races looking set to light up both Cheltenham and Doncaster, the biggest clash looks like Many Clouds V Thistlecrack.

In what is being described a dress rehearsal for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, these two mighty powerhouses are going head-to-head at Cheltenham in the Cotswold Chase which is one of nine races on a bumper Cheltenham card, as both the Glenfarclas Chase from November and last weekend’s Ascot Clarence House have been rescheduled and added to the meeting

There are 11 entries for the race, including two previous winners of the race, Many Clouds and Smad Place, who both also won the Hennessy Gold Cup.

But Thistlecrack is the odds-on favourite and is as low as 4/11 to reign supreme on the day. Many Clouds is a relatively close second with the bookmakers on 11/2 so still money to be made for those who thinks he has what it takes to end Thistlecrack's supreme run of form.

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Unfortunately with such supreme talent set to line-up and the bookmakers only paying out on the first two home, it doesn't look like there's not much value to be had in the betting unless something goes very wrong on the day.

Interestingly enough both trainers are also very optimistic about their chances and seemingly relishing in the challenge each of them faces.

Colin Tizzard, trainer of Thistlecrack, said: “Whatever turns up we’ll take them on.

“It’s a bit frozen at the moment but if we get a chance and Tom Scudamore’s available we’ll give him a school first.”

While Oliver Sherwood added: “It’s a hot race but you want the best races to be like that.

“He’s won it and been second in it. You should never be frightened of one horse but we’ve got to the point where he needs the match practice.

“It’s all systems go. Ideally it will be this, one more race and Aintree. If he runs really well we’d look at the Gold Cup.”

While Sherwood didn't mention the Grand National 2017, it is understood that Many Clouds will at least get another entry before connections determine whether or not he will run in it.

Last year, he enjoyed an impressive build up to the race, on the back of his 2015 National win and while he had a lovely trip around the inside, he lost momentum with a notable blunder at the 26th before gradually getting tired as well as reportedly losing a front right shoe.