Native River stakes Gold Cup claim

Native River boosted his chances of running in next year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup by winning the Hennessy Gold Cup Chase at Newbury.

The six-year-old produced one of the best displays of his career as he held off strong challenges from Carole’s Destrier and Double Ross to win by half a length.

Trainer Colin Tizzard was delighted with the Chestnut Gelding’s performance during the race, admitting that he always dreamed the horse could win such a prestigious race.

“Everything was right for him – it was a big race,” Tizzard said. “He went clear and looked like he would win easily. The other horse (Carole’s Destrier) nearly got to him, but then he (Native River) went again, which is the sign of a good, honest stayer.

“Did we think he would be a Hennessy horse? We always dreamed about it, but he has now done it. He travelled better than he ever has and jumped beautifully.”

Native River could now compete at next year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup, with Tizzard, who also has Thistlecrack and Cue Card as options for that race, admitting that he cannot believe how many quality horses he has at his disposal.

He added: “I’ve got all these toys and I can’t believe I’m talking to all you chaps. These horses found me. We’ve got a system going well and long may it last.”

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