Cheltenham Festival stars keeping Colin Tizzard on his toes

Sunday 17 January 2016 11:59, UK

Thistlecrack
Image: Thistlecrack: On course for the Cleeve Hurdle.

Colin Tizzard is unsure whether it is pressure or excitement he is feeling with stable stars Cue Card and Thistlecrack.

With the Betfair Chase and King George already in the locker, 10-year-old Cue Card requires victory in the Grade One prize on March 18 to land the £1 million bonus put up by Jockey Club Racecourses for any horse that can capture all three races.

He said: "Cue Card has been cantering well and is in lovely form. He is exactly where he has been all season. He is a very happy horse and is fit and well so long may it last.

"Whether it is down to pressure, anxiety or excitement it is one of the three. The big thing for me is just winning the Gold Cup as if Cue Card wins the Gold Cup having already won the King George I could near on retire."

Not only has the Sherborne handler got a realistic chance of lifting the Gold Cup, he also has strong claims of winning the Ladbrokes World Hurdle with the new star of the staying division Thistlecrack who is the 2/1 favourite in Sky Bet's Non-Runner, No Bet market to take the Grade One contest, having won both the Long Distance Hurdle and Long Walk Hurdle this season.

He said: "Thistlecrack has been working a lot faster and he has had a very busy week as we are now getting him ready for the Cleeve Hurdle at the end of the month.

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"On the outside it might look like I'm fine but I've woken up in the night a couple of times as when you have two beautiful horses you don't want anything to go wrong."

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