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Cracking Christmas for Kayf Tara’s star

Thistlecrack remains unbeaten over fences with victory in the King George

Kayf Tara’s outstanding eight-year-old Thistlecrack belied his novice status with an imperious Boxing Day win in the G1 King George VI Chase at Kempton over his high-class stablemate Cue Card.

Thistlecrack, who is now unbeaten in four starts over fences this season, extended his winning stretch to nine with his three-and-a-quarter length victory, with his lifetime tally now standing at 13 wins from 18 runs, with five of those triumphs coming at Grade 1 level.

Bred in Britain by Robin and Scarlett Knipe, Thistlecrack is owned by John and Heather Snook, who earlier this year purchased his 3-year-old full-sister – the last foal of their dam Ardstown (Ardross) – for £165,000 at the Tattersalls Ireland Cheltenham Festival Sale. With all the major festivals yet to come this jumps season,

Kayf Tara’s progeny earnings have already passed the £1 million-mark and he is second only to Presenting of all active National Hunt sires in Britain and Ireland, with 64 winners of 92 races this term. Among his other top-level performers is Tea For Two, who was just a short-head and a head behind Cue Card and Silviniaco Conti when finishing fourth in Thistlecrack’s King George.