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Aintree could be next for Native River as connections consider blinkers

Native River with owners Anne and Garth Broom and trainer Colin Tizzard after winning the 2018 Cheltenham Gold Cup
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The Betway Bowl at Aintree next month has been nominated as a possible target for Cheltenham Gold Cup fourth Native River.

Native River made all to defeat Might Bite on soft ground in a gruelling running of last year's Gold Cup but was never able to dictate this time on contrasting going.

However, owner Garth Broom was happy with the run and said: "I think he would have run better if it was slightly softer ground.

"He was a bit sluggish away and had to use up so much fuel to get his position that there wasn't a lot left at the end.

"He ran a grand race, though, and I think he was actually 23 seconds quicker this year so probably ran close to last year's form on times.

"He's come out of the race fine and we might run in the Bowl at Aintree next, but we'll have to see how he is and what the ground is like."

Broom also mooted the possibility of applying blinkers to the Colin Tizzard-trained nine-year-old, with the aid under consideration before the Gold Cup but ultimately not used.

He added: "We might put some blinkers on him to get him to travel a bit better.

"He's had cheekpieces for a few years and we were thinking of the blinkers for the Gold Cup, but that's not exactly the best place to experiment because sometimes horses won't go a yard in them.

"We're just delighted to have finished third, first and fourth in a Gold Cup as not many even come back for a second try."

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He's come out of the race fine and we might run in the Bowl at Aintree next
E.W. Terms