Thistlecrack took a successful first step towards the Cheltenham Gold Cup after winning a novices’ chase.

Despite never jumping a steeplechase fence in public, the champion long distance hurdler is already favourite for the sport’s top prize.

Trained by Colin Tizzard and ridden by jockey Tom Scudamore, the eight-year-old put in a near-foot perfect round of jumping at Chepstow.

He beat Aqalim by four lengths over the 18 obstacles.

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