The King George
Miami Beach Florida, February 25th 1964. One of the most anticipated bouts in boxing history took place, the new vs the old, Clay vs Liston and to this day it remains an incredible sporting event that captured the people’s imagination in a way it is hard to fully resemble. I say hard because it isn’t impossible and the racing world is giving it a good old go.
Finally after months of anticipation and build up the new is going to take on the old. Thistlecrack vs Cue Card, surely one of the most anticipated bouts in racing history is set to take place at Kempton over 3m 2f’s this Boxing Day. Go back to last week and The King George looked a somewhat mediocre renewal, fast forward 7 days and suddenly the racing world has served up a late Christmas present that we have all wanted for some time.
Clay defeated Liston in taking style, the new firmly puts the old in its place and that is exactly what I believe will happen come Boxing Day. There is then no better place to start this analysis than with the formidable Thistlecrack.
Thistlecrack –rated 174
For me I find it hard to believe how any racing fan or pundit out there can be negative about this horse. I’ve been bullish from the start when it comes to Thistlecrack and I’m not going to stop now. Some of the comments flying around about this horse are just laughable. I saw a comment the other day stating that he wouldn’t stay, he won a world hurdle firmly on the bridle Thistlecrack will stay and he’ll stay stronger than most. Another comment I’ve seen plastered all over is that Thistlecrack hasn’t been tested and that they are worried about what he will find off the bridle. To them I say go and do some research, if you need some evidence of what Thistelcrack can find off the bridle then go watch his performance on February 14th, 2015. He’s made one jumping error so far and the facts are he stayed on his feet and still won the race as he pleased. He was superb last time out and we know for a fact he is faster than anything in this field.
If I’m wrong I will happily put my hands up and confess but I honestly believe he will win The King George and he will win The Gold Cup in fine fashion.
Cue Card – rated 176
Cue Card is a superb horse and one of my favourites but he isn’t good enough to beat Thistlecrack. Some people are worried about what Thistlecrack will find off the bridle but if I was on Cue Cards side that would be my main concern. Cue Card travels through his races well but he doesn’t find much when he’s asked. We saw it last year numerous times and we saw it evidently so on his reappearance. He had Coneygree well beaten before asked at the last fence last time out but once again he didn’t find all that much. Thistlecrack has a tremendously high cruising speed and the main worry for me if I was on Cue Card would be that Cue Card is going to have to come off the bridle to keep up with Thistlecrack when he quickens still on bridle. We know Cue Card doesn’t find much off the bridle and for me that is where Thistlecrack is going to stamp his superiority all over Cue Card.
Josses Hill – rated 158
Josses Hill is improving all the time but this looks a steep ask. He’s a nice horse with his best days ahead but they really have thrown him in the deep end here and I fear he may not be ready to step out of the shallows. We may also apply a similar comment here to Tea for Two, a gallant servant but will surely find life tough in this company.
Silviniaco Conti – rated 163
Said to be not at his best last time out however I do worry that he’s just not the same horse as old nowadays. He’s got a lot to find if he’s to play a part even on his best form and this looks a tough assignment.
How we bet: Thistlecrack – (2pt win) 6-4 is available at Skybet.