Thistlecrack jumps the last clear in the Ryanair World Hurdle
Image by Tattersalls Ireland

Thistlecrack is unlikely to make the Cheltenham Festival as the injury that saw him miss the King George VI Chase at Kempton, is continuing to hinder him.

The popular 12 year-old was not among the 40 entries revealed on Thursday for this year’s Stayers’ Hurdle, but his trainer, Colin Tizzard, told The Racing Post that he could race again.

He said: “Thistlecrack isn’t quite right at the moment. The problem we had just before Christmas hasn’t corrected itself yet and he’s still not sound so are just going to hang fire for a while.

“We thought it was an abscess, but it might be a bit more than that. I’m not going to say he won’t run again because he might. I’m still hoping to get him back this season.”

Thistlecrack was victorious in the 2016 renewal of the Stayers’ Hurdle and then embarked on a successful chasing career. He was last seen giving the reigning champion Paisley Park a race at Newbury, in late November.