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Thistlecrack seals super week for Kayf Tara

World Hurdle winner is third Grade 1 Festival winner for his sire

Thistlecrack, who is unbeaten this season, claimed the third Grade 1 win of his career with a facile victory in the Ryanair World Hurdle at Cheltenham on Thursday to earn the highest Racing Post Rating of any hurdler at the Festival in the last 30 years.

The Colin Tizzard-trained eight-year-old has notched two Grade 1 and two Grade 2 victories this season, following his victory last year in the Grade 1 Sefton Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree.

His trainer said, “He is huge but was not always like that. John and Heather Snook, who own him, have been very patient with him and he has grown into himself the last 12 months. He has gone from being a very nice horse to being a superstar.”

Thistlecrack’s World Hurdle win came a day after Blaklion and Ballyandy struck a Grade 1 double for Kayf Tara in the RSA Chase and Weatherbys Champion Bumper. Their top-level wins have boosted Kayf Tara’s prize-money haul for the season to £1,878,304, with 89 winners of 134 races.

Kayf Tara also played a prominent role in the Cheltenham Festival Sale after racing on Thursday with two of his offspring featuring among the top three lots of the evening. They included Thistlecrack’s full-sister, who was sold by his breeders Robin and Scarlett Knipe for £165,000 to Thistlecrack’s owners John and Heather Snook.

Winning point-to-pointer Monbeg Chitchat was the second-top lot of the sale, fetching £200,000 to a bid from Harold Kirk, and he will join the Willie Mullins team.

“He’s by the sire of the moment and from a very good family,” said Kirk.