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Go Native: Newcastle remains an option despite his Punchestown fall

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (  

Native still has Fighting Fifth option says Meade

GO NATIVE could head to Newcastle for a tilt at the Fighting Fifth Hurdle on December 1 despite his fall on Sunday, trainer Noel Meade revealed on Monday.

Meade said the nine-year-old was fine after his final-flight fall in the Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown, when he was laying down a strong challenge to hot favourite Hurricane Fly.

Sunday was the first time Go Native had run over hurdles since being sent off favourite for the Champion Hurdle in 2010 but he had run well on two starts on the Flat last month.

"He got up straight away and was okay this morning, but we might just get the physio in to have a look over him and check him out," Meade told At The Races.

"We'll probably run him at Christmas, but we won't rule anything out just yet.

"There's a fortnight before the Fighting Fifth. Obviously he had a heavy fall, but he slid along the ground, so he didn't go into it.

"If he was okay I wouldn't rule out Newcastle. I'm not saying he will go there, we'll just leave the door open for the moment."

Reflecting on Sunday's race, Meade continued: "It was one of those things, that's racing. It's the good jumpers unfortunately go down. He was just a couple of inches too low, caught the top of it and down he went.

"He's run into Hurricane Fly a couple of times and never been able to match him, but he would have given him something to do, whether he would have won, I don't know.

"To be upsides Hurricane Fly and giving him a race was very pleasing, it was unfortunate to go down."

Hurricane Fly is 11-2 with William Hill for the Stan James Champion Hurdle while Go Native can be backed at 20-1 with Paddy Power for the same race.

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