Native River unlikely to run again this season following his Gold Cup heroics
Jubilant trainer Colin Tizzard stated Native River was unlikely to run again this season on Saturday morning, when he paraded the ultra-tough eight-year-old near his Dorset stable.
Owned by Garth and Anne Broom, Native River made virtually all under Richard Johnson to repel Might Bite and capture the Gold Cup, but any thoughts of him backing up at Aintree or Punchestown were seemingly dismissed by Tizzard, who is eyeing the Betfair Chase at Haydock on November 24.
Tizzard said: "I don't think we'll run him again this year. We'll try and win next year's Gold Cup. We couldn't run him early on because he had that ligament last year. We'll keep him here for another month but it's going to snow – he’s not going out in the field!
"He had a hard race. Next season we hope he'll be a bit busier, and we'd maybe be looking at Haydock and the Betfair Chase, then going on to Newbury, then back to Cheltenham."
Reflecting on the significance of the success, he said: "We ran Bob Bob Bobbin in the Gold Cup one year  just so we could say we had a runner in the race. It's the pinnacle, the race we all want to win. Now we've won it."
Third in the Gold Cup 12 months ago, Native River was on Saturday a top-priced 8-1 to retain the crown next year. Runner-up Might Bite and RSA Chase winner Presenting Percy are both a general 6-1.
Owner Garth Broom said: "Every horse we buy, we think 'maybe it'll be a Gold Cup horse'. But of course it never is. It gets injured, or it's too slow, or it's the trip, or it's another reason. But now here he is, a Gold Cup horse. It's new territory for us, it hasn't sunk in yet. Well, it's beginning to.
"Richard Johnson is a brave jockey and he's a brave horse and they are just made for each other. Richard kept asking and he kept finding."
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