Can he avoid any jumping errors? Will he be able to live in such exulted company? How will he cope with the unique atmosphere of a King George VI Chase?
Thistlecrack answered all of the questions above and more when routing stablemate Cue Card and the rest of the field at Kempton today to earn skinny odds of just 4/5 for the 2017 Cheltenham Gold Cup.
The money pouring in pre-race certainly suggested that the eight-year-old was more than capable of silencing any doubters.
And even the biggest of non-believers couldn’t help but be won round by a performance of sheer brilliance.
The triumphant hero became the first novice winner of the Boxing Day feature with the three-and-a-quarter length margin of victory a bare statement of fact compared to the full magnitude of this latest success.
Jockey Tom Scudamore was left a delighted passenger as last year’s World Hurdle victor displayed supreme jumping skill and lightning speed at exactly the right times.
Nothing could get near him off the final bend, including the 2015 champion who had to go all out to secure the runner-up spot.
There’s still more tests to come.
But the bookies and many others now seriously doubt whether there’s anything out there capable of stopping this juggernaut in its tracks.
Latest Ladbrokes Betting:
Thistlecrack – 4/5
Coneygree – 8/1
Cue Card – 8/1
Don Cossack – 9/1
Djakadam – 10/1
Valseur Lido – 12/1
Click here for the latest Cheltenham Gold Cup odds.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing