Thistlecrack powered to World Hurdle glory as Tom Scudamore enjoyed an almost armchair ride on the short-priced favourite.
Colin Tizzard’s Thistlecrack travelled ominously well throughout the race as last year’s winner Cole Harden again attempted to make all the running.
Cole Harden was swatted aside on the run to the second last by Thistlecrack and Alpha Des Obeaux before Scudamore’s mount drew away on the run to the final flight before bounding clear to win by seven lengths.
Gavin Sheehan ensured Cole Harden was on the front end as soon as the tapes went up and the veteran Knockara Beau matched strides through the early stages.
Knockara Beau, though, dropped away going down the hill for the first time as Kilcooley came through to sit on the heels of Cole Harden.
Scudamore started to edge Thistlecrack closer going out onto the second circuit and he effortlessly moved on to Cole Harden’s quarters on the run to the third last.
Going down to the penultimate flight, Alpha Des Obeaux had tracked Thistlecrack’s move as Cole Harden was unable to repel the pair of strong travellers.
On the turn for home, Thistlecrack was still full of running as Alpha Des Obeaux was pushed along and Scudamore popped the favourite over the last.
He didn’t have to get too serious in the saddle to see Thistlecrack home to a mighty roar from the stands as Alpha Des Obeaux battled all the way to the line.
Three-time Cheltenham Festival winner Bobs Worth stayed on for third place, with Cole Harden back in fourth.
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